US President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he has not agreed to ease the tariff regime on China, but that Beijing “would like him to do so”.
Major stock indices have reacted to Trump’s statement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumping 45.65 points, while the S&P and the Nasdaq Composite lost 5.72 point and 16.17 respectively.
Glimmer of Hope in Trade Talks
The trade tensions between the United States and China appear to have eased slightly, as the two sides agreed on Thursday to reduce some levies on each other’s products. Neither Washington nor China has revealed the extent of the tariff rollback.
The two sides are currently engaged in talks on working out the details of the first part of their interim trade deal that President Trump announced in October.
According to Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, negotiators agreed to gradually remove the tariff hikes, provided that the dialogue between the two sides continues. The extent of the levy reduction will depend on the final agreement between the two countries.
The negotiating parties are now also faced with the logistical problem of the venue for the signature of the agreement between President Trump and President Xi. The US president has suggested that the deal should be inked in Iowa.
FILE – In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Washington imposed its first round of tariffs on Chinese imports in June 2018, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.
Since then, both countries have levied several rounds of import duties and have engaged in talks to settle their trade-related disagreements.