On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House the future of the US-China trade deal was uncertain amid questions of whether Beijing has lived up to its promises in the January agreement. He added the relevant data would be available in the coming weeks.
Trump has previously threatened to terminate the trade deal with China if it doesn’t live up to the Phase 1 promise to buy an additional $200 billion worth of US-made goods and services over the next two years, including $40 billion agricultural goods.
Trump evaded a question on Wednesday about whether he would consider reimposing trade tariffs on China if it’s found in violation of the deal.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that senior administration trade officials were against the idea of punishing tariffs on China in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic if Beijing is found to be abiding by the trade deal. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have accused China of covering up and withholding key information about the deadly virus, as well as mismanaging the outbreak, causing it to spread to the US and around the globe.
“I have every reason to expect that they honor this agreement,” US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox Business Network on Monday, adding that failing to honor the agreement would result in “very significant consequences in the relationship and in the global economy as to how people would do business with them.”
Reuters reported last week, citing a senior US trade official, that China remained “very, very committed” to upholding the Phase 1 trade deal.