Trump teases 'important announcements' as he touts 'very productive' China trade talks

  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted at "important announcements" regarding his administration's high-stakes trade talks with China.
  • Trump's optimistic tweet came soon after Bloomberg News reported that China's government would consider slashing tariffs on U.S. car imports to 15 percent from 40 percent.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted at "important announcements" regarding his administration's high-stakes trade talks with China.

"Very productive conversations going on with China! Watch for some important announcements!" the president tweeted.

Trump's optimistic tweet came soon after Bloomberg News reported that China's government would consider slashing tariffs on U.S. car imports to 15 percent from 40 percent. Auto stocks jumped on the news in premarket trading. Overall, stocks pointed to a higher open as markets looked to bounce back from last week's rout.

Trump tweeted last week that China had agreed to slash the tariffs, although the Chinese government did not confirm or deny it at the time. In July, China cut tariffs on auto imports to 15 percent from 25 percent, but then soon hiked duties on U.S.-made cars to 40 percent as retaliation for the Trump administration's aggressive trade moves.

Other signs of potential progress emerged Tuesday. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Chinese officials, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told senior members of his government to follow through on his recent agreement with Trump. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are the main U.S. negotiators in calls with Chinese negotiators.

The U.S. and China have restarted trade negotiations after Trump and Xi reached a truce in their nations' escalating trade war. The two leaders spoke during a working dinner at the G-20 summit in Argentina on Dec. 1.

As part of the truce, the U.S. and China agreed to a 90-day window to negotiate some significant sticking points between the world's two largest economies. As part of the interim agreement, Trump said he would hold off on boosting tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Trump's tweet Tuesday also came during the battle over a Chinese executive who was arrested in Canada, the same day Trump and Xi dined in Argentina, and faces extradition to the United States. Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, is being held by Canadian authorities in a case related to the company's alleged sale of equipment containing U.S. components to Iran in violation of international sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

There are concerns that the Huawei case could upset the delicate but broad trade talks between the U.S. and China, although the renewed talks and Trump's claims indicate it has yet to disrupt the negotiations.