After Saturday’s Xi-Trump meeting, the American side said that there would be a 90-day deadline to reach a new trade deal.
But in their immediate messaging after the meeting, the Chinese did not mention the 90-day deadline, leading to speculation that the two sides came out of the meeting with different understandings (see December 3 Tip Sheet).
On Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) confirmed the 90-day deadline (see link).
But now Trump is muddying the waters again by floating the idea of an extension (Twitter):
“Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.”
Trump is also demanding a REAL DEAL:“We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all - at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States.”
But, according to the MofCom statement, it doesn’t sound like the Chinese are preparing any new concessions:“The Chinese side will start by implementing the concrete measures that have already been agreed.”
Get smart: Nobody knows exactly what a REAL DEAL would look like, but if Trump means that China should abandon its industrial policy, it’s not going to happen.