Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said Wednesday that the Chinese e-commerce giant had canceled plans to create 1 million jobs in the U.S., blaming the ongoing trade war for the decision, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
“This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S. cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade,” Ma told Xinhua. “The current situation has already destroyed the original premise. There is no way to deliver the promise.”
Ma originally pledged to spur job growth by letting American small businesses and farmers sell their goods on Alibaba, which is one of the world’s largest online retailers, when he visited then-President-elect Donald Trump early 2017.
Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Monday, threatening to place taxes on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese imports if China attempts to retaliate.
China placed tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. products the next day as previously planned, though it reduced the size of the tariffs.
At an Alibaba investor conference Tuesday, Ma described the state of economic relations between the two countries as a “mess” with consequences that could last for decades.
Some experts said Ma’s plan to bring 1 million jobs to the U.S. might have been overly ambitious in the first place.