In a statement, the White House press secretary said Beijing will agree to purchase “a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial” amount of U.S. agricultural, energy, industrial and other products in order “to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries.”
During the talks at the G-20 meeting, the two superpowers agreed to delay additional taxes on each other’s goods for the next 90 days — during which time they will try to overcome difficult differences including “forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft.”
The president’s broad conclusions about the trade agreement also didn’t mesh with Chinese state media’s more measured descriptions.
The White House did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment overnight.
Political watchers were quick to highlight the contrast between Trump’s lofty proclamations and the official statement from the White House.
Trump’s comments “show his number one priority is the appearance of being a great dealmaker,” said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who specialized in the Koreas during the Obama administration. “It doesn’t matter to him what the details are, as long as he looks strong to his supporters.”
“When it comes to anything associated with him, especially deals, things can’t just be good, they have to be best,” Oba continued.
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