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Phase 2 of China trade deal under question, Trump says

On Friday President Trump told reporters that there is no information whether the USA will commit to Phase 2 of China trade deal, citing the “severely damaged” relationship between the two countries. According to CNBC, the President isn’t thinking about “a possible next stage,” indicating a halt on the negotiation progress. “They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, they didn’t stop it. They stopped it from going into the remaining portions of China from Wuhan province. They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t,” Trump said aboard Air Force One.

The first phase of the deal between two super-powers was signed back in January. It put on hold escalation of tariffs, addressed the issue of protection of intellectual property, and obligated China to buy $200 billion worth of U.S. goods. Coronavirus pandemic made it hard for China to follow on purchasing agreements. However, as the Washington Post reported, U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer is positive China will fulfill its commitments. “I expect them to live up to the agreement. They have indicated they will,” said Lighthizer appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. Earlier in June, Trade Representative also assured American farmers about the continuation of agricultural export to China after rumors swirl about the possible U.S. “decouple” from the agreement. “Trust me that the trade deal is on. It’s the biggest trade deal anybody’s ever done, and it is completely on,” he said.

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