As the date of signing the US-Sino agreement loomed, the situation grew slowly with new details which can’t be characterized as positive for the markets. There is an increasing impression that it is necessary to talk not about “truce” but instead use the term "temporary ceasefire." On Tuesday, the head of the Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin, said that until the conclusion of the second phase of the deal, China tariffs will remain in place. It is noteworthy that the statement was made exactly on the eve of the signing ceremony, since the close attention of the markets is now focused on the event, statements by both parties and details of China’s list of purchases.

Mnuchin told reporters that Trump may consider reducing or canceling tariffs if the parties can quickly conclude a second agreement. Thus, despite various market speculations that Trump has bent, surrendered or lost his advantage in the negotiations, it is now becoming clear that the United States has retained significant leverage in case China does not fulfill its commitments under the deal.

Gold rose and US stocks declined after Bloomberg announced that tariffs could remain in effect after the November presidential election, which the markets had not previously hoped for. Lighthizer and Mnuchin also said they have no agreement with China to cancel part or all of the tariffs in the near future, plunging markets into doubts about the truce.

As a result of the agreements in December, the United States suspended the introduction of December tariffs on $160 billion (mostly consumer goods), reduced tariffs to 7.5% for imports of $120 billion, and left unchanged 25% of tariffs by $ 250 billion.

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