Trump Agrees to Two-Week Delay in China Tariff Increase

Mike Starkey offloads soybeans from his combine as he harvests his crops in Brownsburg Ind

On Wednesday, Trump wrote in a post on Twitter that the United States had agreed to delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion U.S. worth of Chinese imports from October 1 to October 15 "as a gesture of good will".

"Trump's goodwill gesture suggests that the trade war is starting to bite and the USA may be more eager to close a deal", said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte.in Singapore. The disclosure came out shortly after the U.S. announced it will delay additional tariff hikes on Chinese goods.

Preliminary meetings are set to take place later this month in Washington before United States treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer meet China's vice premier Liu He in October.

"These actions seem created to get the China trade talks back on track", said Amanda DeBusk, a partner at the law firm Dechert LLP.

The mutual steps to ease trade tensions between the world's two largest economies could influence working-level discussions expected at mid-month. "I hope we can do something".

But Trump's trade advisers are not considering an interim trade deal with China that would further push out or roll back some USA tariffs, the CNBC network reported on Thursday, rebutting a Bloomberg report that a limited deal was under consideration.

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While welcoming China's overtures, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sought to temper optimism in markets that the gestures might lead to a trade deal. USA stocks, highly sensitive to the ups and downs of the negotiations, rose in early trading before giving up most of the gains by late morning. Neither side has specified a date for the meetings. Even European economies are shrinking, many of which are important trade partners for South Africa. Moody's Analytics estimates that Trump's tariff policy has already cost the US economy 300,000 jobs and could rise to 450,000 jobs later this year once the full effect of the additional tariffs kick in. "An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China's stance", ING's Greater China economist Iris Pang said.

In July alone, the United States exported about 3,000 containers, or nearly 61,000 tonnes of pork, as buyers stepped up purchases amid a huge shortfall in China - due to a massive outbreak of African swine fever that has driven prices to record levels. Trump tweeted early Thursday.

Washington and Beijing have placed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods during trade dispute, with more tariffs due to take effect in the coming months.

Significant US exports to China, like pork, soybeans and American-made cars, are among the goods that will still be hit by the hefty taxes.

Mr. Trump has imposed or announced penalties on about $550 billion of Chinese products, or nearly everything the United States buys from China.

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