President Trump’s top economic advisors pushed back Monday on his claim that China has agreed to eliminate tariffs on U.S. auto imports, saying no such agreement had been struck.
The unusual dispute was the latest to suggest that Trump’s handshake agreement on trade during a working dinner Saturday night in Argentina with Chinese President Xi Jinping remains open to divergent interpretation, even in the White House.
On Sunday night, after returning to the White House from the Group of 20 economic summit in Argentina, Trump declared on Twitter that China “has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S.”
If true, that would mark an achievement for the White House because the Chinese tariff is 40%. It caused auto stocks to jump Monday as part of a broad stock market gain based on the pause in the U.S.-China trade war.
But Trump’s top economic advisors made clear Monday that no agreement to reduce and remove the tariffs yet existed, despite Trump’s boast.