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Photo: Xinhua/Li Xueren via Getty Images

With nothing that we know of in writing, the U.S. has allowed the Chinese to further delay harsher new tariffs for a big chunk of President Trump's remaining first term.

Driving the news: The White House has stated that a 90-day trade war truce between the U.S. and China began on Dec. 1 (correcting its chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who told reporters earlier Monday that the truce would begin on Jan. 1).

  • Trump tweeted this morning: "President Xi and I have a very strong and personal relationship. He and I are the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond, between our two great Nations."

Why it matters: "Trump and Kudlow seem to think that pre-announcing a 0% tariff on Twitter and in the press is a constructive negotiating tactic," Axios' Felix Salmon emails. "Few trade negotiators would agree with them."

Between the lines:

  • Auto tariffs: It's still unclear whether the White House has secured Chinese agreement on slashing — or eliminating — the tariff on imported autos.
  • "If China does reduce or remove auto tariffs ... we would expect Tesla, Daimler and BMW to see the largest benefits, vs. the Detroit 3," Barclays automotive analyst Brian Johnson noted in an email to investors.
  • Agriculture: “Farmers will be a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China,” Trump tweeted. But it's unclear which products they'll be buying. U.S. soybeans in particular have taken a heavy hit.
  • Intellectual property theft: Kudlow noted that the hawkish Robert Lighthizer will be directing this front of negotiations.

The bottom line: The market isn't treating this as a breakthrough. The Dow is up roughly 300 points since the weekend, rather than the major upswing you'd expect with a deal.

  • "What we are seeing right now is a cautious hopefulnessthat maybe we might be on the road to some kind of a deal, at some point in the future, and that road does not include a fully fledged trade war," Felix Salmon told Axios' Dan Primack on the Pro Rata podcast.
  • "This is more of a 1.5% rise on hopes of something goodhappening in the future, rather than going crazy because they've got what they want."

Go deeper: How December could define Trump

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the White House's correction on Larry Kudlow's comments — that the 90-day truce with China began on Dec. 1, not Jan. 1.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.