Trump: China agrees to reduce tariffs on US autos

Trump: China agrees to reduce tariffs on US autos
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President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE announced on Sunday that China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on U.S.-produced vehicles imported into the country.

"China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S," the president tweeted. "Currently the tariff is 40%."

Trump's announcement comes shortly after he and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a breakthrough during the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires over the weekend, temporarily pausing an escalating trade war between the two countries that had seen tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on each other's products.


“It’s an incredible deal. It goes down, certainly — if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made,” Trump told reporters on Saturday.

The Chinese foreign ministry also touted the agreement, saying the two sides had "proposed a series of constructive plans on how to properly resolve existing differences and problems.”

The separate statements, which offered conflicting characterizations of what the agreement entailed, were vague on details. The U.S. statement highlighted a 90-day window it had created to push through trade talks with Beijing, while the Chinese statement made no mention of it.

The Saturday agreement meant that Trump's tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods remained in effect, but an additional hike on tariffs for certain goods would be put on hold.

On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer MORE suggested the tariffs on Chinese goods could be gradually removed if Beijing agreed to certain concessions, according to The New York Times.


The agreement also came as Chinese auto manufacturers are aiming to enter the U.S. market within the next couple of years. China is currently the world's largest manufacturer of cars and car parts, as well as the world's biggest market for cars.

The Trump administration has threatened a Chinese joint venture of General Motors with a 25 percent tariff on the vehicles it exports to the U.S. The administration already imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on all cars from other parts of the world.  

China recently cuts its tariffs for foreign automobiles to 15 percent, but leveled an addition 25 percent tariff on American cars over the summer, bringing the total to 40 percent.

Trump's Sunday announcement comes after months of heated back-and-forth between Washington and Beijing. The U.S. has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade barriers, as well as theft of U.S. intellectual property.

China has hit back at the Trump administration by targeting manufacturing and agricultural exports, especially those produced in red states where support for Trump remains high. 

The president in addition signed a renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico this week. The deal must still be reviewed by the Senate.

The Chinese Embassy did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.