China and the US agreed to roll back trade-war tariffs — or it may be more of the same kind of pump we see almost daily

Trump XiThomas Peter/Reuters

  • A Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said the US and China had agreed to roll back tariffs in phases as trade talks progressed. 
  • While the announcement signaled progress, Neil Wilson at Markets.com called it “more of the same kind of pump we see almost daily.”
  • Still, US futures rallied on the news.
  • View Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

China says it has agreed with the US on a plan to roll back tariffs as trade talks progress.

“In the past two weeks, top negotiators had serious, constructive discussions and agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement,” a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said on Thursday, according to Bloomberg

Gao added: “If China, US reach a phase-one deal, both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously based on the content of the agreement, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement.”

Stocks rallied on the news, though some observers noted ambiguity over what had actually been agreed to.

“Let’s be clear — this is more of the same kind of pump we see almost daily,” Neil Wilson at Markets.com said in an emailed note. “But it’s decidedly positive nonetheless. The question remains whether the White House would be prepared to ditch all tariffs in exchange for some vague commitments on agricultural products and IP and think it can sell that as a win to voters.”

Should the two sides move past a “phase one” agreement of a trade deal, the talks would quickly more to more complicated negotiations involving issues like intellectual-property rights — a major sticking point.

The latest announcement comes after multiple reports earlier this week suggested the US was considering whether to roll back tariffs. The Financial Times reported that the White House might remove tariffs on consumer appliances, while Reuters and Bloomberg separately said the US was considering rolling back tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods.

Bloomberg also reported that a face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump that was due to take place next week could now take place in December.

“The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs,” Gao said, according to Reuters

US futures rallied on the news, as according to CNBC Dow futures jumped 100 points after Gao’s remarks.

“The comments from the Chinese commerce ministry do indicate a path out of the mire,” Wilson said. 

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