US says China trade deal has no agreement to reduce tariffs

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 15 2020 06:52 AM | Updated as of Jan 15 2020 08:21 AM

US President Donald Trump, surrounded by business leaders and administration officials, prepares to sign a memorandum on intellectual property tariffs on high-tech goods from China, at the White House in Washington, US March 22, 2018. Jonathan Ernst, Reuters/File

WASHINGTON — The trade truce with China set to be signed on Wednesday does not include a deal to roll back tariffs imposed on most Chinese goods, US officials said in a statement Tuesday.

The joint statement from the Treasury and the US Trade Representative's office said "there is no agreement for future reduction in tariffs. Any rumors to the contrary are categorically false."

The statement came after a Bloomberg report said tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods will stay in place until after the US presidential election in November, after which they might be removed.

After nearly 2 years of conflict and the exchange of punishing tariffs that have had a negative impact on business investment and global economic growth, President Donald Trump last month announced a "phase one" trade deal with Beijing.

As part of the deal he agreed to cancel a new tranche of painful import duties on consumer goods that had been scheduled to hit on December 15.

In addition the US agreed to slash in half the 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion imposed September 1 on consumer goods like clothing.

Officials have said the details of the trade pact will be made public Wednesday. 

However, "There are no other oral or written agreements between the United States and China on these matters," the USTR and Treasury said.

© Agence France-Presse