After Dow drops, President Trump seeks to reassure investors on China

DEVELOPING: US-China trade uncertainty fuels market plunge

The remarks, by the Chinese Commerce Ministry, follow a period of relative quiet from Beijing after Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping reached a temporary truce in their trade war at a meeting over dinner in Argentina on Saturday.

Among the conflicting assertions that White House officials made was over whether China had actually agreed to drop its 40 percent tariffs on USA autos.

Instead, the two sides are to negotiate over United States complaints about China's trade practices, notably that it has used predatory tactics to try to achieve supremacy in technology. A new USA law, signed by Trump in August, FIRRMA, mandates that the United States conduct a "more robust global outreach effort" to persuade allies to adopt stronger protections against Chinese attempts to buy or steal Western technology.

President Trump's tweets had investors concerned on whether that ceasefire will actually take place on the scheduled January 1st.

Trump, in a series of Twitter posts, threatened to slap a range of import penalties on Chinese products if they did not make major changes in their economic relationship with the United States.

It did not give further details but it crucially did not contradict the U.S. 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.

President Donald Trump has declared victory in his trade war with China, claiming that Beijing had made "a big leap forward", but his declaration has reportedly left Chinese officials "puzzled and irritated".

A day later, President Trump said on his Twitter that "the negotiations with China have already started" and that the deal will probably happen.

Officials from the USA and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.

While Trump hails tariffs as money-makers, critics note that tariffs are mostly paid for by USA consumers as the costs of Chinese imports rises.

President Trump had hailed the pause as an incredible deal, saying China had promised a number of measures. Besides escalating existing tariffs, Trump had threatened to impose import taxes on the remaining US$267 billion of USA goods from China. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man".

Team Trump said China would agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of farm, energy, industrial and other products from the US.

Pompeo said in Brussels on Tuesday the United States could abandon some worldwide agreements to thwart bad actors like China, which he accused of cynically exploiting World Trade Organization rules.

Despite Trump's talk of trade deficits, at the heart of the issue for the USA is how China accesses intellectual property from American companies. The company said it wants to ramp up production in North America and is considering - although hasn't yet decided - whether to set up a second plant in the U.S.to make power trains.

His appointment of Mr Lighthizer to lead the talks instead of Mr Mnuchin puts one of the administration's toughest China critics in charge.

"This is a specific step taken by the Chinese side to strengthen protection of intellectual property and crackdown on IP rights violations", Geng said.

The president, China's most powerful leader since at least the 1980s, flew from Argentina to Panama for an official visit and on Wednesday was in Portugal.

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