President Donald Trump said on Friday that he had not agreed to cut tariffs on Chinese goods, which dampened hopes of a timely solution to a staggering trade conflict.
"You would like a rollback, I did not agree," he told reporters before leaving the White House on the way to Georgia. "China wants some rollback, not a full rollback, because they know I will not do that."
Equities fell to their session lows after Trump's comments, as optimism about the prospects of the US scrapping had risen tariffs.
Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday that the negotiators from Washington and Beijing "have agreed to cancel the additional tariffs charged on each other's products at various stages as they progress "according to a CNBC translation. Gao did not specify how much of the tariffs the two largest economies in the world would revoke.
The US and China have been working to sign what the White House calls the "Phase One" trade agreement. Trump hopes to solve the problems with Beijing's commercial practices, including forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft, and at the same time to secure more Chinese purchases of US agricultural goods has imposed tariffs on American products of around $ 1
The White House declined to comment on Trump's comments.
China's skepticism on Thursday swiftly led to an explanation that the US has agreed to reset tariffs. Some government officials and outside consultants opposed scrapping tariffs, fearing that this would reduce US leverage in ongoing talks.
On Thursday evening, Trump Trade Adviser Peter Navarro also denied the reports. He told Fox Business Network that "the only person who can make [the decision to roll back tariffs] is Donald J. Trump".
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have been looking for a place to sign the first piece of the trade agreement. They had planned to sign the agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Chile later this month, before the country's president canceled the event due to protests.
On Friday, Trump and his Chinese counterpart announced the first part to sign the deal in the United States. Previously, he suggested that the pages in Iowa could meet for signature.
– Kevin Breuninger of CNBC has contributed to this report
WATCH: Collective agreement meets with restraint in the White House