Wall Street sinks on worries over slowing growth, trade truce outcome

President Donald Trump declared himself

Mr Trump said his team of trade advisers, led by China trade hawk and United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer, would determine whether a "REAL deal" with China was possible.

Both the nature of the agreement and some of its detail were described quite differently by administration officials, with Trump's senior economic adviser, Larry Kudlow saying that the commitments China gave were "stuff that they're going to look at and presumably implement" and that there was no specific agreement on auto tariffs.

Jokes about "Tariff Man" aside, Tuesday's tweets demonstrate that Trump still doesn't understand that it is American consumers and businesses that pay his tariffs-not China, not Chinese exporters, and not people or business that "come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation", whatever the president means by that.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Trump and President Xi "reached consensus not to impose new additional tariffs and agreed to instruct the economic teams of the two sides to step up negotiations toward the removal of all additional tariffs"-closer to Trump's claim, but nowhere near as certain".

Mnuchin cast the weekend dinner as a breakthrough in the trade standoff with China and said there were "very, very specific" items that the two leaders agreed to have incorporated into a broader agreement that has yet to be finalized.

Another layer of uncertainty over the talks has been a lack of commitment by the Chinese to broker a deal within a 90-day window announced by the United States, commencing from the date of the dinner.

Late Sunday, Trump tweeted that "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40 percent". The existing tariffs are already doing damage, the US Federal Reserve's rate rises and greatly-reduced purchases of US bonds and mortgages are draining stimulus from the economy and the impact of Trump's tax cuts is waning even as the legacy of those cuts and Trump's big surge in spending is showing up in swollen government debt and deficits. China is supposed to start buying agricultural product and more, immediately.

The leaders of the world's largest trading partners struck a temporary truce on Saturday at a dinner in Buenos Aires, with Trump agreeing to maintain the 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and to defer his original January 1 deadline for raising them further.

He then referred to his plan for escalating 10% duties on Chinese imports to 25%, tweeting: "Remember I am a Tariff Man".

Senior Chinese officials did not mention this deal in a news conference. "It will always be the best way to max out our economic power".

However, there are differences in both countries' official accounts of what was agreed.

But Trump also expressed optimism for the 90-day negotiating period before tariffs are set to increase.

Donald Trump threatened to slap a range of import penalties on Chinese products if they didn't make major changes in their economic relationship with the US.

Global investors, who had feared for months that a protracted trade war could hurt economic growth, seemed to cheer the cease-fire on Monday, but U.S. markets slid back on Tuesday as it became clear that there were few concrete commitments that came out of the discussions so far.

The move was confirmed on Monday by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, . who called Lighthizer Washington's "toughest negotiator".

"Let the negotiations begin", Trump wrote on Tuesday.

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