Late last week, the Chinese government stated that the U.S and China had reached an agreement to begin rolling back tariffs after a phase one trade deal is signed. That statement led to some optimism and a jump upward in financial markets. It was just 24 hours after that when President Donald Trump poured “cold water all over the positive vibes.” The president said during a press conference on Friday that there’s no such understanding between the two countries to scale back duties on each other’s goods. “I haven’t agreed to anything,” Trump said on the White House lawn. “China wants to get somewhat of a rollback in tariffs, not a complete rollback, because they know I won’t do it.”
White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro sent an email on Friday complaining about the media coverage of the apparent deal on tariffs, saying too many journalists are “getting the trade stories on China wrong.” The White House and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office were to confirm the Chinese claims on an agreement to cut back on tariffs. Both refused to comment on the record and didn’t make any attempt to contradict the Chinese statement.