The top American trade negotiator for the White House has denied telling certain executives that planned tariffs are on a back burner.
The Financial Times reported Thursday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had told some executives the next round of China tariffs are on hold, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Shares of Caterpillar, a big U.S. company that has been feeling the heat from tariffs, rose more than 4 percent as investors digested the report.
But later in the afternoon, Lighthizer's office told CNBC, "Ambassador Lighthizer has made no representations to industry executives that future Section 301 tariffs are on hold." The statement said the plan for tariffs outlined in September "has not changed at all. Any reports to the contrary are incorrect."