Madeline Sponsler, FISM News
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday walked back on his earlier remarks that the U.S.-China trade pact was “over”, stoking volatility in markets already frazzled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Navarro said his comments were taken “wildly out of context”, while U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed in a tweet the deal with China was “fully intact”.
Earlier, Navarro told Fox News “it’s over” in an interview when asked about the trade agreement.
He said the “turning point” came when the United States learned about the spreading coronavirus only after a Chinese delegation had left Washington following the signing of the Phase 1 deal on Jan. 15.
“It was at a time when they had already sent hundreds of thousands of people to this country to spread that virus, and it was just minutes after wheels up when that plane took off that we began to hear about this pandemic,” Navarro said.
As for the trade deal, Zhao said: “China‘s stance on the issue has been consistent and clear.” He directed specific questions to relevant departments.
The U.S.-China trade negotiations lasted more than two years, heaped tariffs on $370 billion of Chinese products, whipsawed financial markets and dented global growth well before the coronavirus outbreak triggered a worldwide recession.
U.S.-China relations have reached their lowest point in years since the coronavirus pandemic that began in China hit the United States hard. Trump and his administration have repeatedly accused Beijing of not being transparent about the outbreak.
Trump on Thursday renewed his threat to cut ties with China, a day after his top diplomats held talks with Beijing and his trade representative said he did not consider decoupling the U.S. and Chinese economies a viable option.
Under the Phase 1 trade deal, China had pledged to boost purchases of U.S. goods by $200 billion over two years.
But disruptions wrought by the pandemic saw U.S. goods exports to China fall in the first quarter, providing a further challenge to the Trump administration less than five months out from the presidential election.
Sourced from Reuters, Fox News