November 12, 2019, 5:50

Trump says he hasn’t agreed to roll back tariffs, despite China’s announcement

Trump says he hasn’t agreed to roll back tariffs, despite China’s announcement

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he has not committed to rolling back tariffs on China – a statement directly opposite to what appeared to be a breakthrough announcement from China on Thursday that the two countries had agreed on a deal to start rolling back tariffs in phases, easing the U.S-China trade war.

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“Well, they would like to have a roll back,” Trump said of China. “I haven’t agreed to anything.”

(MORE: China and the US agree to roll back tariffs in phases, Chinese official says)

Trump told reporters as he left on a trip to Georgia that “they want to make a deal a lot more than I do. I’m very happy right now.”

On Thursday, as part of a “phase one” agreement, Beijing and Washington acknowledged a plan to roll back tariffs, according to a Trump administration official. A Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, also confirmed this agreement, saying if talks continued, a ‘phased cancellation’ of tariff hikes would progress, according to the Associated Press. The rollbacks would have been an important easing of the current trade war.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, FILE

President Donald Trump meets with China’s President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.

(MORE: Trump fires back at China, announces tariffs to increase amid escalating trade war)

Under Trump, tariffs have been placed on over $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, a move which caused retaliatory tariffs to be placed on U.S. exports, causing uncertainty among many U.S. businesses.

(MORE: US-China trade war forcing many farmers to take 2nd jobs to make ends meet)

Soybean and corn farmers have seen a drop in selling price of their crops, and companies like GoPro and Fitbit have announced that much of their manufacturing will be moved out of China to avoid tariff costs.

(MORE: Fitbit to move production out of China because of ‘ongoing threat of tariffs’)

On Thursday, in the wake of the announcement that both tariffs and the trade war could be rolled back, the S&P 500 index jumped to a record-high by midday and the Dow jumped more than 200 points. Trump took to Twitter, saying “Enjoy!”

On Friday, both the S&P 500 and the Dow averages were lower.


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