President Trump said Friday that he has not agreed to roll back all existing tariffs on China, but that Beijing would like him to do so.
“I won’t do it,” he told reporters at the White House when asked about a complete rollback of tariffs he has imposed on almost $400 billion in Chinese goods.
Trump also said the initial deal will be signed “in our country,” possibly in Iowa.
Officials from Washington and Beijing on Thursday said China and the US have agreed to roll back tariffs on each others’ goods in a “phase one” trade deal if it is completed.
Before departing the White House for Atlanta, Trump told reporters he would like to sign the deal in the United States.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry, without laying out a timetable, had said the two sides had agreed to cancel the tariffs in phases.
A US official confirmed the rollback would be part of the first phase of a trade agreement that is still being put to paper for Trump and President Xi Jinping to sign.
But the comment was soon shrouded in doubt after Reuters reported the plan faced stiff internal opposition in the US administration.
US stocks dipped after Trump’s comments on Friday and the dollar to fell against the yen.
The president also said is not concerned about depositions from current and former administration officials in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
He said the testimony he’s read is fine — but repeated that he believes the most important thing is the White House-released transcript of his July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.
Trump added that some said of the people who have testified were fine, but that others were “Never Trumpers.”
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