Jul 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China

President Trump on July 10 in Doral, Florida.
President Trump on July 10 in Doral, Florida. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Friday said he is no longer confident about negotiating a phase-two trade deal with China, noting that the coronavirus pandemic has damaged the countries' already-strained relationship.

Why it matters: The president's remarks throw both the future of the U.S.-China trade war and the first phase of the deal that the two countries signed in January into limbo.

What they're saying: “I don’t think about it now,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One Friday in response to questions about phase two of the pact, per a White House pooler.

  • The president added that the U.S.' “relationship with China has been severely damaged. 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."

The big picture: Trump and administration officials have publicly disagreed on the status of the phase-one agreement.

  • Trump said the trade deal was still "fully intact" in June, while White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said it was effectively dead the same day, the New York Times reports.
  • Congress and the Trump administration have announced sanctions against Beijing officials in response to the Chinese government's implementation of Hong Kong's national security law and the country's Uighur human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

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