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No Agreement On Full Tariff Rollback With China, Says Trump

No Agreement On Full Tariff Rollback With China, Says Trump
Even though reports suggested that the United States and China have agreed on phasing out of import tariffs imposed on each other’s goods worth billions of dollars, the US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has taken no decision on the rolling back on the tariffs imposed by the White House on Chinese imports.
This comment not only contradicted the reports published earlier and cast fresh doubts about the possibility of the end of the 16-month long trade war going on between the two largest economies of the world that has roiled global financial markets and slowed down global growth sparking fears of a recession once again.
On Thursday, both the US and China had said that the two countries had agreed to cancel the tariffs in phases, according to a spokesperson of the Chinese commerce ministry who did not elaborate on any timetable for the same.
The agreement for the rollback of tariffs was further confirmed to the media by a US official according to reports that did not name the official, who also confirmed that the phasing out of some of the tariffs by both the sides would be a part of the first phase of a trade agreement that is still being finalized and penned down for signing by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The United States is "very, very optimistic" about making a trade deal final so that the 60 month old trade war between the two largest economies of the world can be diffused, said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham during an interview to Fox News Channel. "I cannot get ahead of the talks with China, but we are very, very optimistic that we will reach a deal soon," she said.
However there were reports that some of the close advisers of the Trump administration were against the roll back of the tariffs.
However Trump told reporters at the White House that he had not yet agreed to reduce tariffs already put in place, which further reflected the division within the Trump administration over the issue. Trump has repeatedly described himself as "Tariff Man".
"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."
While stating that China was more eager to make a deal than himself, Trump said that the US coffers were being filled with "billions of dollars" because of the US tariffs on Chinese products. "I'm very happy right now. We're taking in billions of dollars," he said.
Trump’s comments led to a drop in US stocks and a fall of the dollar against the yen which brought to a halt a rally that was sparked by positive sentiments toward both the sides reaching an agreement to bring an end to the trade war.
He would not sign any trade deal, if one is made at all, with China outside of the US, Trump said.  "Assuming we'd get it ... it could be Iowa or farm country or someplace like that. It will be in our country," he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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