US-China Relationship ‘Severely Damaged’, Phase 2 Trade Deal Not A Priority: Trump
Story Code : 873768
“They could have stopped the plague. They could have stopped it. They didn’t stop it,” Trump stated on Air Force One en route to Florida, according to reporters present on the plane, CNBC reported.
Asked if that friction meant “phase two” of the US-China trade deal would no longer happen, Trump noted that he wasn’t even thinking about it and that he had many other things on his mind.
The status of the trade agreement between the two economic superpowers, the first phase of which was signed and went into effect earlier this year, has come under question amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The virus, which was first observed in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread around the world and taken a devastating toll on America’s health and economy. More than 3.18 million cases and at least 134,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Trump announced in May that he was “very torn” about whether to scrap the first phase of the pact with Beijing, while officials in his administration have assured that both countries are still expected to honor the deal.
Phase one of the deal followed a protracted trade war with China that hung over much of Trump’s first term in office. The agreement took initial steps toward addressing issues including intellectual property protections and forced technology transfers, while also saying that China will buy at least $200 billion worth of US goods over two years.