Amid market worries over mixed signals on Chinese trade talks, President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed confidence that his team would reach a new deal with China - a day after his self-declaration as "tariff man" spooked investors.
Meanwhile, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said there wasn't an actual agreement for China to remove auto tariffs, but that he expected China to eventually do it as a measure of good faith.
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.
Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment", the White House said in a statement afterward.
China has pledged to implement the changes agreed at trade talks between presidents Trump and Xi "as soon as possible", but it has not repeated claims from senior figures in the USA that it will happen "immediately", he said.
China implemented a 25% retaliatory tariff on US pork products on April 1, which remains. The slew of Trump tweets prompted markets to fall as investors lost faith in a detente between the two nations.
"Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina", he wrote. This would have raised prices in the United States on many consumer items, including smartphones, clothes and toys.
It did not give further details but it crucially did not contradict the USA president's remarks that China would buy more goods from the United States to help close their trade gap and structural changes to intellectual property protection.
The US President said China was supposed to begin buying US agricultural products and others "immediately" as part of an agreement to reduce the trade imbalance between them.
Canadian officials announced Wednesday that Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of the company's founder, was detained in Vancouver last Saturday on suspicion of trying to evade US sanctions on Iran. As part of his Twitter storm today, the USA president called himself "Tariff Man" and then proceeded to demonstrate his lack of basic understanding about how tariffs work, seemingly ignorant of the fact that tariffs are in effect a tax paid by domestic consumers, not foreign countries.
Ma Hong, a trade expert at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, said companies and financial markets should not read too much into China's delay in talking.
His appointment of Lighthizer to lead the talks instead of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin puts one of the administration's toughest China critics in charge.
In a brief statement, China's commerce ministry described the two sides' discussions as "successful", adding it was "confident" of their agreement's implementation.
German automakers said after the meeting they told Trump they planned to boost USA investments, but warned they would be unable to do so if the administration imposed new tariffs.
"We are now taking in $billions in Tariffs". "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man".
"Nothing's been removed, nothing's been stopped, things are just delayed", said Stephen Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which represents more than 1,000 manufacturers, retailers and name brands.
Su believed that the important consensus reached by Xi and Trump would offer direction for future China-U.S. relations.