By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for Dec. 15 are still on the table even as progress is being made in talks between Washington and Beijing, Trump administration officials said Tuesday.
The comments were made in separate appearances at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington, and after a Journal report that U.S. and Chinese negotiators were “laying the groundwork” to delay new tariffs.
Top White House economist Larry Kudlow said he couldn’t confirm the report.
“Those tariffs are still on the table, the Dec. 15 tariffs,” Kudlow said. The Journal’s report said President Donald Trump had not decided on extending talks.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told attendees that the trajectory of discussions between the U.S. and China was “pretty good,” echoing a similar comment made Monday night at the same event by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators have been struggling to finish a so-called phase-one trade deal. At the conference Kudlow said removing some existing tariffs on China was part of the discussion with officials from Beijing.
U.S. stocks /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.48% bounced around Tuesday as Wall Street weighed U.S-China trade negotiations and news of a revised North American free trade pact, as well as the beginning of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The Journal reported negotiators are haggling over how to get Beijing to commit to massive purchases of U.S. farm products Trump is insisting on for a near-term deal.