In an increasingly confrontational approach to China, President Trump announced new targeted sanctions against Chinese officials on Friday, while also directing his administration to remove special exemptions for Hong Kong.
Trump announced that he would impose new sanctions and visa restrictions on Chinese officials, while also saying that “we will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment.”
The move comes in response to Beijing’s new national security bill for Hong Kong, which essentially renders the region no longer autonomous from China.
Stocks had been falling for most of the day as Wall Street braced for Trump’s press conference: The Dow was plunged by around 250 points on fears that the president would either impose new sanctions or trade penalties.
The major averages sharply cut their losses right before the press conference, however, following a report from Bloomberg said that Trump would not pull the U.S. out of the phase one trade deal with China.
Trump first announced the news conference regarding China late on Thursday, causing stocks to tumble—the Dow gave up 300 points—and turn negative in the final hour of trading.