- China said on Thursday that it expected the US to remove all tariffs on its products as part of any final trade agreement.
- That cast another layer of uncertainty on trade progress announced by President Donald Trump last week.
- China has been slow to confirm details of key parts of the partial agreement with the US, which has not yet been put on paper.
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China said on Thursday that it expected the US to roll back tariffs on its products as part of any final trade agreement, casting another layer of uncertainty on progress announced by President Donald Trump last week.
“China’s position, principle, and goal for the China-US trade negotiations has never changed,” Gao Feng, a Commerce Ministry representative, said at a weekly press conference, according to a translation. “Both sides’ ultimate goal for the negotiations is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs.”
The White House did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
On Friday, the Trump administration agreed to delay scheduled tariff increases as the two sides negotiated an end to a yearlong trade dispute that has roiled the largest economies. But China has been slow to confirm details of key parts of the agreement, which has not yet been put on paper.
That has raised questions about what China expects from the US before it would take steps to meet demands announced by the US. The US has asked for steep agricultural-import quotas and unspecified adjustments to intellectual-property rules.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that China wanted the US to scale back tariffs before it would increase American farm imports, which it halted last year to retaliate against the Trump administration. A representative for the Chinese Embassy in Washington confirmed to Business Insider that China planned to increase agricultural purchases but did not offer comment on the amount.
Tariffs on thousands of products remain in place despite the partial truce, and the US plans to expand duties to virtually all imports from China if a deal is not reached by December. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that there were no plans for another high-level meeting but that the two sides remained in touch.
Trump and administration officials have defended trade progress with China amid concerns about a recently launched impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“For the skeptics out there, I appreciate that, and I respect that, but I’m telling you there’s a lot of momentum, and there’s agreement on both sides,” Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, said on CNBC early Thursday.
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