US, China trade chiefs affirm trade deal progress in phone call

09 Mai, 2020, 13:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US, China trade chiefs affirm trade deal progress in phone call

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The discussion occurred while tensions between the two countries are escalating, exacerbated by a war of words over United States criticism of China's handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

China's Vice Premier Liu He, who is the head of the country's negotiating team, spoke with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to a statement from the Ministry.

A Chinese nurse who participated in the prevention and control work against COVID-19 in Wuhan, the city in China hit hardest by the epidemic, wrote a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR) said in a statement that "in spite of the current global health emergency, both countries fully expect to meet their obligations under the agreement in a timely manner".

Although the agreement allowed both countries to enjoy a few months of apparent cordiality, the emergence of the coronavirus once again soured the relationship between the two powers.

The two governments have yet to announce a timeline for more negotiations. Olympic silver medallist pentathlete Elodie Clouvel and her boyfriend recently revealed that they fell ill after taking part in the Military World Games, which took place held in Wuhan between October 18 and 27.

The coronavirus outbreak slammed China's economy, causing its gross domestic product to shrink in the first quarter for the first time since at least 1992.

China has remained committed to the phase-one deal. Other such pacts have quickly fallen apart.

Meanwhile, the United States agreed to reduce the tariff from 15 to 7.5 per cent on $120 billion worth of Chinese goods and cancel additional levies.

US, China trade chiefs affirm trade deal progress in phone call

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this week that he will delay a report to Congress on China's treatment of Hong Kong, a possible prelude to Washington slapping sanctions on Beijing over its treatment of pro-democracy protesters in the territory.

Speaking on Bloomberg Television, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that while the U.S. "I think the whole world knows that this began and originated there in Wuhan", he said.

But even during that briefing, Trump talked about trade with China only when asked specifically about it.

"The President doesn't want to take meaningful action outside of tariffs".

"The passage, referring to coronavirus originating from China, says the outbreak ".in China, and its subsequent spread to the rest of the world over the past three months" was removed upon the request by Chinese authorities.

In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Trump said he felt "differently" today than he did when Washington and Beijing signed their "phase one" trade agreement early this year. "Faced with this mankind battle against the virus, China should be [a] US comrade in arms, not enemy". The stock in Ford was trading up almost 5%, at $5.10 per share, by midday Friday. Both fell apart, leading to further rounds of tariffs.

"It's not directed at anyone, we just want to know what happened so it doesn't happen again", Morrison said on Friday, when asked whether the USA focus on the Wuhan lab theory was counterproductive.

Still, with the Chinese economy in the doldrums, China will be hard-pressed to increase its purchases of USA goods, which could put pressure on Trump to act. The American economy and that of the rest of the world have come to a standstill.

"There is a phenomenal decrease in the demand", He said. The accord specified that China would pay market prices for its imports, meaning it would now have to buy a lot more to meet targets at a time when it does not have much need for more fuel.

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