Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro both made it clear during their appearances on CNBC and Fox Business respectively that China did not agree to make any concession in exchange for a delay in Trump's new tariffs. This "was not a quid pro quo," Ross said, while Navarro went on an extended riff about not hitting yourself in the face -- something we've been doing all along.
With all of that said, Trump took to Twitter last night where he claimed that China would 'reciprocate' in some unspecified way.
In his tweets on Wednesday, Trump also said that his delay in 10% tariffs on more than $150 billion in Chinese imports to Dec. 15 from Sept. 1 “will be reciprocated” by China and the “much good will come from the short deferral to December.”
His comment appeared to contradict senior officials in his administration, who said earlier that no concessions were made by Beijing in response to the delay announced on Tuesday.
Now, as you might have guessed, Trump appears to be talking out of his ass.
China has not announced any concessions or reciprocation but Chinese officials did say this morning that they're preparing to retaliate for Trump's tariffs even if half of them have been delayed from September 1st to December 15th.
“The move by the U.S. seriously violated the consensus reached between the two heads of state in Argentina and Osaka, and deviates from the right track of resolving differences through consultation,” the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said in a statement. “China will have to take necessary countermeasures.” [...]
Chinese officials offered no further details as to what form countermeasures might take, or whether their trade negotiators would still be coming to the U.S. to continue talks in September.
China's ruling part is seemingly unimpressed by Trump's decision to delay tariffs on $150 billion (out of $300 billion total) from September 1st to December 15th, and why should they be?
Trump and his lackeys said the quiet parts out loud by admitting that imposing all of those tariffs on September 1st would have wrecked the holiday shopping season; and admission that Americans would pay for Trump's tariffs, not China.
Chinese officials aren't stupid. They know what we know -- that Trump's decision to delay his tariffs out of concern for the holiday shopping season is a significant blow to his own rhetoric.
The claim that China will reciprocate for Trump's own decision to back down is a pathetic attempt to save face.