Jack Ma said on Wednesday that his initial agreement with US President Donald Trump, which was made during a Trump Tower meeting in January 2017, had been rendered unfulfillable by the outbreak of the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, calling it "a mess" the New York Daily News reported.
“That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled,” Ma told Chinese news outlet Xinhua News. “There is no way to complete the promise, but we will not stop our efforts and will work hard to promote the healthy development of Sino-US trade.”
Ma, now China’s richest man, said Wednesday: "The trade in the world really needs to be perfected, but trade is not a weapon. It cannot be used for war; it should be a propeller for peace.”
After the Trump Tower meeting, Trump praised the Alibaba founder as “one of the best entrepreneurs in the world,” saying that they were going to “do some great things” together.
But in August 2017, Trump ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate Chinese trade practices related to intellectual property rights, accusing Beijing of the unfair treatment of US companies, the BBC reported. Since then, the Trump administration has enacted tariffs as high as 25 percent on Chinese imports, with the next introduction of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods scheduled for September 24.