Apparently, the Chinese Commerce ministry was telling the truth when, on November 7, Gao Feng said "top negotiators" on both sides of the trade dispute had "agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement".
Gao's remarks - delivered at a regular briefing that day - were seen as confirmation of what the market had been expecting since Donald Trump announced the nebulous "Phase One" trade deal during a meeting with Liu He at the White House on October 11.
"If China and the 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", Gao went on to say earlier this month. The next day, Trump appeared to throw cold water on the tariff rollback news and he's cast further doubt on the idea of tariff relief in public comments since.
Read more: Trump Casts Further Doubt On Trade Deal, Cites ‘A Lot Of Incorrect Reporting’
Through it all, most market participants found it exceedingly hard to believe that the Chinese Commerce ministry would have been so bold as to announce an agreement in principle of tariff relief (which was subsequently confirmed
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