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.

Go deeper: FBI director says China aims to become "world's only superpower"

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The Trump administration and Democrats have not agreed to any "top-line numbers" and remain "trillions of dollars apart" on coronavirus stimulus negotiations, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday.

The state of play: Meadows told reporters, "At this point we’re either going to get serious about negotiating and get an agreement in principle or — I’ve become extremely doubtful that we’ll be able to make a deal if it goes well beyond Friday.”

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Why it matters: The arms control era that began after the Cuban Missile Crisis may now be coming to a close. The next phase could be a nuclear free-for-all.

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Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.