US President Donald Trump has for the time being ruled out a second phase trade deal with China, saying the relationship between the two countries has been severely damaged with Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday, on being asked about the trade deal, Trump told media, “The relationship with China has been severely damaged. I don’t think about it now”.
Earlier in the year, the Trump administration had signed a mega phase one deal with China, after intense negotiations between the two countries.
The pact, a “phase one” deal, was expected to reduce tensions between the two economic giants.
The global pandemic, which Trump blames on Beijing, has intensified already strong tensions between the two countries over an ongoing trade war.
Washington revoked Hong Kong’s special status amid the threat of the dual-use technologies falling into the hands of the Chinese Army.
“Relationship with China has been severely damaged. They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, (but) 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”, the president added.
Moreover, less than two weeks ago, Trump signed a legislation favour of the Uyghur rights which seeks sanctions against the Chinese officials alleged of torturing the group and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang province.
The coronavirus, which first emerged in China’s Wuhan city, has claimed over 1,30,000 lives in the US with 3.1 million confirmed cases. The virus toll in China stands at 4,641 with nearly 85,000 confirmed infections.
Last year, China had called for a rollback of existing tariffs, to which Trump said he did not agree. American officials want large purchases of US farm exports.
In Septemeber 2019, the US had imposed fresh tariffs on $112 billion worth of Chinese imported goods, marking a sharp escalation of the bruising trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Donald Trump launched the trade war as part of his “America First” bid to lower a wide trade deficit with China, but the tariffs imposed thus far have barely made a dent in that gap.