UPDATED 5:30 PM PT — Saturday, November 9, 2019
As trade negotiations continue with China, President Trump is saying he has not agreed to a complete rollback on all tariffs. The president said that talks with China are “moving along very nicely,” but added he will only make a deal if it is right for the U.S.
“I’d like to make a deal, but it’s got to be the right deal,” stated President Trump.
Speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Saturday, the president said there had been false reports about how much the U.S. was ready to roll back tariffs on China.
“China very much wants to make a deal,…perhaps they have to make a deal — I don’t know,” he said. “But the reports were incorrect.”
On Thursday, the president said Beijing would like some type of rollback, but added they won’t get a complete one.
“China would like to get somewhat of a rollback — not a complete back, because they know I won’t do it,” stated President Trump. “I haven’t agreed to anything.”
The negotiations are part of the president’s ongoing effort to resolve unfair trade practices and get China to buy more U.S. agricultural goods. He said he likes the fact that the U.S. is taking in billions of dollars in tariff money from China.
“Frankly, they want to make a deal a lot more than I do,” said President Trump. “I’m very happy right now — we’re taking in billions of dollars.”
The president’s comments came after Chinese officials and Washington negotiators agreed to remove additional duties on each other’s products. The move is getting pushback from White House officials, who said removing tariffs could reduce America’s leverage in ongoing trade talks.
This follows last week’s announcement that the Phase One trade deal was “nearly complete.” Beijing’s Commerce Ministry said the two countries reached “a consensus on principle” after Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese officials by phone. White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said this phase will cover agriculture, financial services and currency protections. Forced technology transfers will reportedly be addressed in Phase Two.
The adviser went on to say the U.S. and China are planning to sign the deal after they locate a venue. This comes after Chile’s president cancelled next month’s APEC Summit, which was where the leaders sought to sign the agreement. Kudlow said the two countries are still hoping to stick to the original timeline of mid-November.