Trump and Xi have agreed upon rolling back levies on each others’ items in a “phase one” trade agreement, whether it is completed, delegates from either side stated Thursday, sparking division among some consultants to President Donald Trump.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry, without laying out a schedule, said the two nations had agreed to cancel the tariffs in phases.
U.S. executives, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the rollback can be a part of the first phase of a trade settlement that’s still being put to paper for Trump and President Xi Jinping to ink.
White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said the U.S. is “very, very optimistic” about completing a deal that may defuse a 16-month trade conflict between the world’s two most prominent economies.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, nevertheless, stated in an interview: “There is no settlement at this time to drop any of the prevailing tariffs as a condition of the phase one deal.”
Experts warn the pact could still collapse. The U.S. delegates said a lot of work remained to be carried out when Trump declared the plans of an interim agreement in October.
Trump has used levies on billions of dollars of Chinese imports as his primary weapon in the protracted trade battle. The possibility of lifting them, even in phases, has drawn fierce resistance from advisers in and outside of the White House who remain cautious of giving up an essential aspect of U.S. leverage.
If an interim agreement is completed and signed, it’s widely anticipated to incorporate a U.S. promise to drop tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on some $156 billion worth of Chinese products, including cell phones, laptops, computers, and toys.