The stock market jumped after the news was announced.
The president confirmed that Bob Lighthizer would lead the negotiations with China with assistance from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross, and Peter Navarro.
China was already hit with $50 billion worth of tariffs earlier this year.
The clock started ticking on December 1, when Trump met in Buenos Aires with China's leader Xi Jinping and agreed to work towards an agreement to roll back the exchange of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade. Targeting soybeans was widely seen as a direct attack on Trump's supporters, as the US' top soybean farming states voted for Trump in 2016.
"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so", he said.
The White House said Trump and Xi agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. "President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they're prepared to do on these issues, and the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we've always talked about, but more importantly protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures, protecting USA technology currency".
China's Foreign Ministry, the only government department that holds a daily briefing foreign media can attend, has repeatedly referred questions on details to the Commerce Ministry, which has yet to say anything. At the end of the day, two realities remain: the U.S.is now an energy (oil and gas) producing super power alongside the ranks of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, while China, conversely, is the world's largest energy consumer, which gives it less leverage in ongoing trade and even geopolitical negotiations and developments.
"Longer-term, China has more to gain from free trade in autos", with local Chinese manufacturers such as Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. looking to move overseas, she said.
"However I will give it to him that he has managed to bring China to the table", said Guajardo, who is now a senior director at Washington-based McLarty Associates focusing on global trade.
That was a very different message to the one that emerged immediately after the dinner, when Trump said that he and Xi had agreed on "an incredible deal" and that US-China relations had taken a "big leap forward".
"The market isn't impressed", said Darin Friedrichs, Shanghai-based consultant at INTL FCStone.
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And he added: "The world's people have spoken, their message is clear, time is running out, they want you, the decision-makers, to act now".