Politics Trump says he has not agreed to roll back tariffs on Chinese goods
U.S., China Consider Rolling Back Tariffs as Part of Initial Trade Deal
U.S. and Chinese officials are actively considering rolling back some tariffs to clinch the partial trade deal under negotiation, according to people familiar with the talks. © mike blake/Reuters“If there’s a deal, [removing] tariffs will be part of it,” a senior administration official said late Monday. The U.S. and China have agreed in principle to what President Trump has called the first of several phases of an accord to end the dispute that has penalized hundreds of billions of dollars of trade between the two countries.
President Donald Trump on Friday said he has not agreed to rollbacks of U.S. tariffs sought by China, sparking fresh doubts about when the world's two largest economies may end a 16-month trade war that has slowed global growth.
Officials from both countries on Thursday had said China and the United States have agreed to roll back tariffs on each others' goods in a "phase one" trade deal. But the idea of tariff rollbacks met with stiff opposition within the Trump administration, Reuters reported later on Thursday.
China Claims Tariffs Will Go, but Others Express Doubts
Beijing’s announcement that the U.S. and China have mutually agreed to roll back tariffs lifted financial markets, adding to optimism that the 18-month trade war is beginning to wind down. But others expressed caution.Neither the White House nor the U.S. trade representative issued a public response to China’s statement, and there were conflicting reports from within the Trump administration as to whether there was a firm commitment to reduce tariffs.
Those divisions were on full display on Friday, when Trump - who has repeatedly described himself as "Tariff Man" - told reporters at the White House that he had not agreed to reduce tariffs already put in place.
"China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback, 'cause they know I won't do it," Trump said. "I haven't agreed to anything."
He said China wanted to make a deal more than he did, adding that the U.S. tariffs were generating "billions of dollars" for U.S. coffers. "I'm very happy right now. We're taking in billions of dollars," he said.
U.S. stocks dipped after Trump's comments, and the dollar fell against the yen, stalling a rally fueled by trade deal optimism that has brought major indexes to record levels.
Trump says China trade talks moving along nicely, but deal has to be right
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that trade talks with China were moving along "very nicely," but the United States would only make a deal with Beijing if it was the right deal for America. © Reuters/ALY SONG Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews before leaving for a visit to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that the talks had moved more slowly than he would have liked, but China wanted a deal more than he did.
Trump also said the trade deal with China, if completed, would be signed in the United States. "Assuming we'd get it ... it could be Iowa or farm country or some place like that. It will be in our country," he said.
The farm state of Iowa has been hammered by China's retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans, pork and other farm products, but has longstanding connections to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Hu Xijin, editor of China's state-run Global Times newspaper, reacted on Twitter, writing that markets were not expecting Trump's statements.
"It's not a flat denial," Hu tweeted. "What's certain is that if there's no rollback of tariffs, there will be no phase 1 deal."
Experts inside and outside the U.S. government warn the "phase one" trade pact could still fall apart. U.S. officials said a lot of work remained to be done when Trump announced the outlines of an interim deal last month, and Beijing has since pushed back on U.S. demands for big agricultural purchases, among other issues.
China says US agrees to tariff rollback if deal reached
China and the U.S. have agreed to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods in phases as they work toward a deal between the two sides, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said. “In the past two weeks, top negotiators had serious, constructive discussions and agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement,” spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.“If China, U.S. reach a phase-one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously based on the content of the agreement, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement,” Gao said.
Trump has used tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods as his primary weapon in the protracted trade war. The prospect of lifting them, even in phases, has drawn fierce opposition from advisers in and outside of the White House who remain wary of giving up a key aspect of U.S. leverage.
China in May scuttled a previous trade deal that U.S. officials said was 90% completed.
If an interim deal is finished and signed, it is widely expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.
But China was also seeking cancellation of other U.S. tariffs put in place since January 2018. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng on Thursday said both countries must simultaneously cancel some tariffs on each other's goods to reach the phase one pact.
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Chinese phone giant Huawei said Sunday it was ready to roll out 5G infrastructure across Southeast Asia, dismissing US warnings its tech could be used to hoover up data for Beijing. © Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images 15 October 2019, North Rhine-Westphalia, Duesseldorf: View of the Huawei Germany headquarters. Despite political concerns, the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei will in future be able to play a major role in the expansion of the German 5G mobile communications network.
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