After two days of Trump administration officials making cautiously hopeful statements about China’s trade commitments only to be greeted by silence from China, Chinese officials found their voices Wednesday.
The first and perhaps most important move on Wednesday was that China’s Commerce Ministry acknowledged that the two nations had agreed to a 90-day truce. Earlier statements by Chinese officials had been vague on this point, giving rise to concerns that there had not really been a meeting of the minds at Saturday night’s dinner in Buenos Aires. on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry said the trade negotiations have a “clear timeline and road map” and that China will quickly begin implementing changes in areas where there is an “agreed upon consensus.”
Note, however, that the timeline is not really all that clear–apart from the December 1st start and the March 1st end. What happens in between is still up for grabs. On Monday, White House economics adviser Larry Kudlow told Breitbart News’ Michelle Moons that there was not yet a timetable for meetings between top officials from the two countries. “We probably need a timetable for timetables,” he said.
China also began to move on policy. At the heart of the U.S. government’s case for tariffs on Chinese exports is intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. China’s supreme court and a few government agencies have now announced stringent enforcement and tough penalties for infringing on intellectual property.