President Donald Trump said Friday that he has not agreed to roll back existing tariffs on goods made in China as part of a ‘phase one’ trade deal.
“They’d like to have a rollback. I haven’t agreed to anything,” Trump said in comments to reporters outside the White House. “China would like to get somewhat of a rollback, not a complete rollback because they know I won’t do it.”
Trump added that China wants a trade deal more than he does.
China said this week that the U.S. had agreed to pare back existing tariffs in phases. The remarks caught many by surprise because Chinese officials rarely comment on details of the trade negotiations. Many of Trump supporters were alarmed that the U.S. might give up its leverage so quickly.
On Thursday, however, Reuters reported that the attempt to roll back tariffs faced fierce resistance from China hawks in the White House. Peter Navarro, the chief White House trade adviser, said Thursday night that no agreement to repeal tariffs had been reached.