Trump praises death penalty for Chinese fentanyl 'distributors and pushers'

Trump praises death penalty for Chinese fentanyl 'distributors and pushers'

As White House officials fanned out to talk up what US President Donald Trump called "an incredible deal" with China to hit pause in their trade war, Beijing has said little on a pact that cheered markets but left many questions unanswered.

President Donald Trump (R) and China's President Xi Jinping (L) along with members of their delegations, hold a dinner meeting at the end of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on December 01, 2018. "Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina", Trump tweeted.

China also appears to be optimistic it can reach an agreement with the U.S. On Wednesday, the country's commerce ministry said it is confident a deal will be agreed upon, adding, both sides have a clear timetable and road map.

'One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States.

The Trump administration has already levied around $250 billion worth of duties on Chinese goods and promised to tax an additional $267 billion in imports from China if it doesn't change its trade practices.

In June, Trump outlined more than 800 Chinese imports, valued at more than $50 billion, that would be subjected to a 25-percent tariff.

In September 2016, China agreed under President Obama to "enhanced measures" on fentanyl, but didn't announce specifics at the time, the New York Times reported.

The threat of further escalation in the trade war between the world's two largest economies has loomed large over financial markets and the global economy for much of the year, and investors initially greeted the ceasefire with relief. To that end, Xi purportedly agreed to purchase a "not yet agreed upon" amount of agricultural, energy, and industrial product from USA manufacturers in exchange for the Trump administration deferring a pending increase in tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Global markets did not express the same optimism, selling off in both Europe and Asia.

"Narrow agreements and modest concessions in the ongoing trade dispute will not bridge the wide gulf in their respective economic, political and strategic interests", Moody's Investors Service said in a report that predicted U.S.

"Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward!"

Officials from the United States and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.

On Monday, Kudlow said there was an "assumption" that China would eliminate auto tariffs, not a specific agreement.

"Officials now face the hard task of fleshing out a deal that is acceptable to the Chinese but also involves significant enough concessions not to be torpedoed by the China hawks in the Trump administration", Capital Economics said in a note this week, adding that higher tariffs could simply be delayed.

One Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicising details.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier this week the US won Chinese commitments to buy more than $1 trillion in American products.

"It will be a win-win situation if a deal is realized. Chinese society should maintain a calm attitude", it said.

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