The stock market is recovering from overnight losses following the White House’s back-and-forth statements regarding the future of the United States-China trade deal.
At the start of Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 230 points, or 0.89%, while the S&P 500 climbed nearly 24 points, or 0.76%, and the Nasdaq Composite grew 60 points, or 0.6%.
Yesterday, senior trade adviser and director of trade and manufacturing policy Peter Navarro suggested in a Fox News interview that the phase one trade pact between the world’s two largest economies was “over” and brought up ongoing concerns about China’s alleged mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the city of Wuhan and has now infected more than 9.12 million people in the world.
“It’s over, yes,” he told host Martha MacCallum, adding that the pact had been signed “a full two months after they knew the virus was out and about.”
Hours later, after Navarro’s comments sent Wall Street into a frenzied selloff, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to reassure markets that the deal was “fully intact. He said, “Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!”
What’s more, Navarro walked back his earlier commentary, saying the remarks were “taken wildly out of context” and unrelated to the trade deal.
“They had nothing at all to do with the phase one trade deal, which continues in place,” he said in a statement. “I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also shared that China’s position on economic and trade issues with the U.S. is “consistent and clear.”
Over the past four years, tariffs have been a significant focus for Trump, who has promised to resurrect U.S. manufacturing by slapping steep tariffs on foreign competitors, particularly China. After months of trade disputes, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a truce in mid-January. However, tensions between the U.S. and China have been at a high since Washington accused Beijing of contributing to a global economic fallout.