Trump Official: Tariff Rollback Rumor Started By “Propagandists Within the Chinese Government”

Trump Official: Tariff Rollback Rumor Started By “Propagandists Within the Chinese Government”

Beijing and Washington won’t be reducing some punitive tariffs on each other’s goods – at least according to the Trump White House. Talks on the trade war, it would seem, are not progressing as promisingly as reports indicated.

Reports surfaced that a new agreement originated during discussions to iron out a “Phase 1” deal between the two countries. A “phased cancellation” of tariff hikes were agreed to in the event of progressing trade talks, according to the Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng.



“If the two sides achieve a ‘Phase 1’ agreement, then based on the content of that agreement, tariffs already increased should be canceled at the same time and by the same rate,” Gao said at a news briefing.

The U.S. has called such reports “propaganda.” The two biggest global economies seem to not be stepping back from raising tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.

For the first nine months of the year, China’s imports of American soybeans and other goods fell 26.4% due to tariff hikes. President Donald Trump and General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping had planned to meet at this month’s meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile, but that event was cancelled due to protests in the country.

Trump was adamant Friday that he would not rolled back tariffs imposed on China. He said he is also unsure which tariffs he would eliminate if there was an initial trade agreement.

The United States imposed $360 billion in levies on Chinese goods, which China has reportedly been pushing to have rolled back.

“They’d like to have a roll back — I have not agreed to anything,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback, because they know I won’t do it,” he said.

Peter Navarro wrote to the media on Friday, stating that reports about a decrease in tariffs were started by “propagandists within the Chinese government.”

He continued: “This claim was simply false. There was no such agreement.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader out of New York tweeted: “President Trump shouldn’t be giving in to China unless we get something big in return.”

Mr. Trump said that any signings of the agreement would take place in the U.S. “It will be in our country,” Mr. Trump said.

He added: “I never like to talk about things before we have them.”