Soybeans Lead Gains in Agriculture on U.S.-China Trade Truce

Robert Lighthizer testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

"I think President Trump's strategy on tariffs were very effective", he stated.

Trump's economic team has spun his knee-jerk protectionism as a tactic created to negotiate "better" trade deals - but so far, those better trade deals don't seem to be stronger than the status quo ante.

But Trump also expressed optimism for the 90-day negotiating period before tariffs are set to increase.

The comments by the president and his top advisers over the past 48 hours have only added to China's confusion about their negotiating partners. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.

"We haven't made any move yet", said a trader with a major Chinese trading house.

What is clear is that if no deal or further extension of talks is agreed upon by March 1, the US's tariffs on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will increase from the current 10% rate to 25%.

Time is running out for the United States to ship soy before Brazilian farmers start their harvest, US analysts said.

Moreover, none of the commitments that USA officials said had been given by China, including reducing its 40 percent tariffs on autos, were agreed to in writing and specifics had yet to be hammered out.

In a briefing to reporters, he also said the USA did not yet have a "specific agreement" on auto tariffs. "I wouldn't read a lot into that myself", said Kudlow, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council's annual conference in Washington.

The legislation, which had eight Republican cosponsors but was not put to a vote, envisaged using revenue raised by the duties to compensate those harmed by China's actions.

China has placed a 10 percent tariff on U.S. -LNG imports with the threat of increasing that figure in the future, resulting in China having to find alternate sources of the super-cooled fuel on the spot market.

"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so", he said. "President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they're prepared to do on these issues, and the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we've always talked about, but more importantly protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures, protecting USA technology currency".

The tweet comes after the USA and China emphasized different results from Sunday's high-stakes meeting between Trump and Xi. "Bob Lighthizer will be working closely with Steve Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro. on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible", Trump wrote in part of a four-tweet message.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC the United States and Chinese had "very specific discussions" in Buenos Aires Saturday evening on steps to defuse their conflict, which involves hundreds of billions in bilateral trade and had roiled world markets for months.

Soybeans in Chicago led an advance in USA agriculture futures after the White House said China had agreed to immediately restart purchasing American farm products as part of a trade truce between the two countries.

Trump also tweeted on Tuesday: "MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN".

"The two key events of roughly the last week have been the painkiller dose offered by [Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell] and the soothing market effects of the so-called US-China truce", the Financial Times cited the high-profile analyst as saying.

But so far Beijing has resisted confirming commitments made by Xi and announced by the United States.

In a subsequent tweet, Trump said he would "happily sign" a "fair deal" that addresses United States concerns, should one be reached with Beijing.

"He's constantly invoking the stock exchange as a referendum on his presidency", Guajardo said. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs.

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