Trump Tweet on U.S.- China Trade Deal Differs from Chinese Media’s Understanding

December 3, 2018, 4:52 PM UTC

President Donald Trump’s Monday morning tweet about the trade deal with China stands in sharp contrast to what’s being reported on China’s media.

Trump claimed the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina over the weekend resulted in a big improvement in relations with China.

While the Chinese also said the summit was successful, Chinese media,—viewed as speaking for their government—neglected to mention major points of agreement the administration has claimed, CNBC reported.

Left out of Chinese media statements is the U.S. claim that a tariff deal is conditioned on the two countries resolving key issues within 90 days. The sticking points include “forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture,” according to an official White House statement.

Chinese news outlets also claimed both sides plan to eliminate all tariffs, which doesn’t appear in the U.S. statement.

Regarding the impact on agriculture, Trump claimed Chinese purchases would immediately make farmers “a very BIG and FAST beneficiary,” although there is no agreement yet on agricultural issues.

Resolving the tariff war between the U.S. and China is seen as crucial for American agriculture, particularly soybeans, America’s largest export to China, which accounted for $12.4 billion in sales last year. China slapped a 25% tariff on U.S. soybean shipments, among other levies, in response to Trump ordering punitive tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S.

Farmers sold $19.6 billion in products to China last year, according to the Farm Credit Administration Office of Regulatory Policy. A Heritage Foundation analysis of data put soybeans as the most important crop, being 63% of agricultural exports to China. By midyear, soybean exports to China were down by 20.5%, according to CNBC.

In his Twitter roundup of weekend doings, Trump talked of halting the arms race. He made this pronouncement despite in October withdrawing the U.S. from a 31-year-old nuclear arms deal with Russia over a potential treaty violation. Research of certain weapon classes is still allowed but cannot proceed to test or deployment.

And going on to discuss the border wall, Trump claimed putting it into place would save “Billions of Dollars” without stating how. Many, including the George W. Bush Institute, have noted that illegal immigration has sharply slowed and that immigrants enter the labor force and increase, not decrease, GDP.