China, U.S. discuss next stage of trade talks

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President Donald Trump agreed December 1 to postpone more US tariff hikes on Chinese imports for 90 days while the two sides negotiate over American complaints about Beijing's technology policy.

Traders said China made the first major purchase of USA soyabeans since Washington and Beijing agreed to a temporary trade truce this month. A second trader with direct knowledge of the deals said Chinese state-owned firms bought at least 12 cargoes for shipment between January and March.

China's Finance Ministry didn't immediately respond to a faxed request for comment sent outside business hours.

"Right off the bat we had news that China was thinking about decreasing levies on us vehicle, at that point the Huawei CFO was discharged on safeguard and afterward Trump said might he be able to intercede for the situation on the off chance that it anchored an economic agreement".

In July, China boosted the tariff on American-made cars as part of retaliatory measures against the U.S. Following a summit on trade in Buenos Aires earlier this month, Trump jolted global auto stocks by tweeting that China agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on imported U.S. models, something China did not confirm at the time.

"The shipments, mainly from the Pacific Northwest, will help reduce stockpile pressures for USA soybean farmers", said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.

Trump approved tariff hikes of 25 percent on $50 billion of Chinese goods and 10 percent on another $200 billion of imports in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Futures in Chicago tumbled as a result, while the 2018 harvest had been piling up, unsold, in silos, bins and bags across the U.S. Midwest.

But China has been out of the market since Beijing imposed a tariff on US soy imports in July, pushing prices of the oilseed to decade-lows.

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Trump also campaign repeatedly against the two leaders in the run-up to the November elections, when Democrats picked up 40 seats. I said, 'You're going to take the money we made from the trade agreement.

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He said the U.S. wants China to buy more from the United States, but "much more importantly are the structural issues" including forced transfer and theft of American technology, "cyber intrusions", and "state directed investment".

US farmers stored soybeans after the fall harvest, instead of selling them to grain traders and processors, because of low prices and lack of alternative buyers.

While China has been playing down "Made in China 2025" since tensions flared, it has been pushing ahead undaunted with its state-driven industrial policies, Lighthizer's office said in a report last month.

The 25 percent tariff on US soybeans Beijing imposed on July 6 remains in effect.

The world's two largest economies are finally playing nice, starting first with soybeans. After a lengthy dinner with the Chinese President, Trump agreed to cancel an increase on Chinese import' tariff rates, which was scheduled to take effect in 2019.

"From the Huawei case, it is increasingly obvious that the China-US trade war is about the exchange of technology, and the development of advanced technologies by Chinese companies", said analysts at ING in a note.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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