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.
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.
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.