China is trying to catch up to President Donald Trump's trade deal promises as questions linger about the agreement he made with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit.
After two days of relative silence, a spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce offered a short statement on the preliminary agreement Tuesday night:
- timetable and road map" to negotiate a further trade deal with the US.
- official also said China is committed to implementing certain actions agreed to during the Trump-Xi dinner but did not provide specifics.
According to reports, China is planning to reopen up its markets to American soybeans and natural gas. US soybean farmers in particular have been hard hit by the trade fight, as China's tariffs on US product have choked off their largest market.
But it was still unclear whether the tariffs on those American goods would be eliminated, how much of each good China would buy, and the timetable for the purchases.
Additionally, the official made no mention of the Trump administration's issues with China's broader economic policies such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, forced partnerships with Chinese firms, and more.
The statement from the Chinese comes after skepticism over the deal began to grow, which helped contribute to a sharp sell off in US stocks on Tuesday. Discrepancies between the US and Chinese accounts on the meeting, Trump's promise that China would lower auto tariffs going unconfirmed by the Chinese, and a lack of follow up from Beijing all cast doubts on the nature of the negotiations.
Trump touted the Chinese statement in a tweet on Wednesday, pointing to it as an example that China is serious about reaching a more detailed agreement.
The most concrete step toward fulfilling the agreement appears to be an announcement from China's
China does not exactly have a stellar record of keeping to its commitments to other countries, especially in the context of industries that are part of the government’s plan to restructure the economy towards high-tech, high-value added sectors."