Next date to watch in the US-China trade war is Dec 18, expert says

The next crucial date to watch for clues on where the US-China trade war is heading may be just around the corner — way before the end of the 90-day period that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed on to withhold further tariffs.

China marks the 40th anniversary of its economic reforms on Dec. 18, which is an occasion Beijing could use to emphasize its commitment to transform its economy.

“If that day or week goes by with no major new announcements, then we know that for sure there’s not a possibility that the Chinese want to use this as an opportunity to change the direction of their economy and industrial policies”, says Scott Kennedy, Deputy Director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies told CNBC, adding, if that happens, the tariff fight between the U.S. and China will certainly re-escalate at the end of the 90-day period.

Trump over the weekend agreed to not raise tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent in January 2019 as he had previously threatened, according to a White House statement.

In exchange, the U.S. and China will work toward a deal within 90 days — a timeline that short given, based on the complicated issues surrounding the tariff fight.

In addition to what Beijing does on or around Dec. 18, developments in Washington will also shed light on where U.S.-China relations stand.

“What is that going to mean for pressure from Congress on the administration to get something from China,” Kennedy said.

 Source: CNBC