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We expect China to roll back retaliatory farm tariffs 'quickly': White House

Larry Kudlow. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Washington, DC, USA Dec 04, 2018, 08.18 AM (IST)

The United States expects China will remove retaliatory tariffs on US farm products "quickly" as part of the trade truce reached over the weekend, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Monday.

Beijing retaliated with steep duties on US crops in the trade war which has seen President Donald Trump hit $250 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs of 10-25 percent.

As a result, soybean exports to China have plunged, harming US farmers.

"My expectation is that China will roll back those tariffs quickly," Kudlow told reporters.

Kudlow stressed that Chinese officials repeatedly said the trade commitments announced after Trump's dinner with China's President Xi Jinping would be implemented "immediately." But he acknowledged that it was unclear what that would mean.

He said it would give the weekend deal "more credibility" if Beijing followed through with some immediate steps.

"Let's get rolling folks. Today is Monday. The dinner was Saturday," Kudlow said.

Likewise he said there was a commitment to remove China's punitive tariffs on US auto exports, and while there was no agreement on the final level "I expect those tariffs to go to zero."

The leaders committed to a 90-day truce in the trade confrontation, and while Kudlow said the "history is not great" with China on trade, he was optimistic. 

"We've never been close to this."