Trump says he hasn’t agreed to roll back tariffs on Chinese goods


He said China wanted to make a deal more than he did, adding that the US tariffs were generating “billions” for US coffers. “I’m very happy right now. We’re taking in billions of dollars,” he said.

US stocks dipped after Trump’s comments, and the US dollar fell against the yen, stalling a rally fuelled by trade deal optimism that took major indexes to record levels.

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.

I’m very happy right now. We’re taking in billions of dollars.

Donald Trump

The farm state of Iowa has been hammered by China’s retaliatory tariffs on US 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 to Trump 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 US government warn that the “phase one” trade pact could still fall apart. US 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 US demands for big agricultural purchases, among other issues.

Anonymous sourcing ‘circus’

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, one of the Trump administration’s loudest anti-China voices, lashed out at journalists on Friday in an e-mail, accusing them of being “played” by Chinese “propagandists” who were falsely stating that the two sides had agreed to cancel tariffs in phases.

Navarro complained that too many reports relied on anonymous sources and said only Trump and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer should be quoted on stories about the China trade negotiations.

The USTR has not responded to queries about tariff rollbacks.

“For the good of the country, this anonymous sourcing circus must stop. In a haste to scoop their competition, too many reporters are running the very real risk of getting played, getting it wrong, and hurting this country,” Navarro said.

Trump has used tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods as his primary weapon in the protracted trade war, which is aimed at forcing major changes in China’s trade and industrial policies. The United States is demanding that China end the theft and forced transfer of American intellectual property and curb subsidies to state-owned enterprises, while granting US companies more access to China’s markets. Trump also wants China to vastly increase its purchases of US farm products.

The “phase one” trade deal would largely address farm purchases, access to China’s financial services market and improve copyright and trademark protections in China. More difficult technology transfer issues, subsidies and cybersecurity rules would be left to future negotiations.

China and the United States were on the brink of reaching a deal in May when Beijing backed away from it, prompting Trump to raise tariff rates and embark on new rounds of punitive duties.

Loading

If an interim deal is finished and signed, it is widely expected to include a US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 on about $US156 billion ($226 billion) worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.

But China was also seeking cancellation of other US tariffs put in place since July 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.

Reuters

Most Viewed in Business

Loading



Business

Related posts

Make a comment