Trump meets with German auto execs, tweets 'I am a Tariff Man'

Gen. Keane: U.S.-China Trade Truce Is 'A Step in the Right Direction' for Trump

President Donald Trump at a bilateral dinner meeting with President Xi Jinping of China during the Group of 20 summit at the Hyatt Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 1, 2018.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are among those preparing to attend the White House meeting.

President Trump doubled-down on his widespread use of trade tariffs to improve the U.S. economy and the American manufacturing base Tuesday, saying he is a "tariff man" after reaching a 90-day "truce" with China.

Washington and Beijing agreed to a 90 day cease fire in their meeting in Argentina, as the two sides try to work out an escalating trade war.

The U.S. and China said following Saturday's dinner that Trump had agreed to suspend a planned increase January 1 to 25% from the 10% tariffs imposed on $200 billion in imports from China in September.

But he threatened more tariffs if the sides fails to reach an agreement.

Instead, the two sides are to negotiate over USA complaints about China's trade practices, notably that it has used predatory tactics to try to achieve supremacy in technology. "We've never been close to this".

The U.S. officials aim "to discuss investment opportunities in the U.S., which includes manufacturing and other forms of investment (including) r&d in new generation technologies", White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

German automakers said after the meeting they told Trump they planned to boost US investments, but warned they would be unable to do so if the administration imposed new tariffs. The statement did not say whether Trump raised tariffs with executives from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. "This is the first time they've responded on very, very specific issues".

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"But I will just tell you as an involved participant we expect those tariffs to go to zero", Kudlow added in a conference call with reporters.

The president also returned to threatening China with higher tariffs.

The market is closed Wednesday as the United States celebrates a National Day of Mourning for the late President George H.W. Bush, whose funeral will held at the Washington National Cathedral.

Trump's complaints strike at the heart of the ruling Communist Party's state-led economic model and plans to restore China to its rightful place as a political and culture leader by creating global champions in robotics and other fields.

Height Capital Markets analyst Clayton Allen said positive language from Trump without any firm commitments from China is almost identical to the results from Trump's July meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. We are merely entering the next phase of what will be an enduring economic competition between the world's two largest economies.

He revisited the issue later on Tuesday, within minutes of the commerce ministry's statement, writing on Twitter: "We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all - at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States".

"Three months is not a very long time to achieve this so there are naturally plenty of sceptics out there but this is a rare piece of good news in a conflict that has yet to produce any", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"What kind of kooky language is that?"

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