US soybean farmers took a significant hit from the trade war after China imposed a 25% tariff on the agricultural product in retaliation for USA tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.
Chinese officials hailed on Wednesday a "very successful" trade meeting with the USA, just days after President Trump claimed there had been a major breakthrough in negotiations that ended in a new trade deal.
U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 1, 2018.
But Asia failed to follow the lead to the same extent after China gave its first official comments on the temporary trade truce which allowed for tariff hikes to be postponed for 90 days- until 1 April.
China's reticence contrasted with the parade of US officials talking about the deal on Monday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.
Investors are now grappling with the potential for a protracted conflict, as the president signaled the negotiations could be more contentious than expected.
The disarray surrounding the China deal coincides with a global economy that faces other challenges: Britain is struggling to negotiate its exit from the European Union.
Trump, via Twitter, threatened to place "major tariffs" on Chinese goods imported into the United States if his administration is unable to reach an effective trade deal with Beijing.
"I think that if you put the two press releases together, you can see what basically happened", Cui Tiankai told Reuters in Washington on Monday after returning from Buenos Aires, where he had joined Xi's delegation.
The threat of further escalation in the trade war between the world's two largest economies has loomed large over financial markets and the global economy for much of the year, and investors initially greeted the ceasefire with relief.
Trump applauded the news in a tweet. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man", Mr Trump said on Twitter. They announced that China had agreed to buy many more American products and to negotiate over the administration's assertions that Beijing steals American technology.
Trump agreed he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products at 10 percent, and not raise it to 25 percent as he has threatened to do January 1, according to a White House statement.
According to the White House, the USA will still keep in place $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports but will not increase those tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent after the start of the year as originally planned.
Mr Xi and his most senior officials, including the Commerce Minister and the country's two top diplomats, are in Portugal, and due back in China on Thursday.
Trump's words had the effect of making the already vague and uncertain weekend agreement seem even less likely to produce a long-lasting trade accord.
Trump again claimed Tuesday that more tariffs on China would actually help the U.S. He contended that he has made China "pay for the privilege" of raiding "the great wealth of our Nation".
"Apparently, the Chinese government doesn't want its people to consider the agreement as a failure for China", said Fang Kecheng, a Chinese media researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.
"The actual amount of concrete progress made at this meeting appears to have been quite limited", Alec Phillips and other economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note.