In response to the reported discontent from Beijing, United States President Donald Trump has said on Monday, May 11, that he is “not interested” in renegotiating the Phase 1 US-China trade deal. Trump had previously considered abandoning the trade deal, saying in January that he wanted to see whether China lived up to the deal and started purchasing US goods.
When asked whether he would consider fresh talks on a trade agreement, Trump responded, “No, not at all. Not even a little bit. I’m not interested. We signed a deal. I had heard that too, they’d like to reopen the trade talk, to make it a better deal for them.” He also added: “Let’s see if they live up to the deal that they signed,”
This comes amid a war of words between the two powerhouses over the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak origins and handling by China, which has cast doubt on whether a deal could be agreed upon.
The Global Times tabloid reported on Monday that advisers have suggested invalidating the trade pact and the negotiation of a new one in favor of the Chinese side. The Global Times, although state-run, is not an official Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece.
Hours after the report emerged, however, Chinese importers purchased around 240,000 tons of US soybeans for shipment beginning in July. Under the Phase 1 deal signed in January, China agreed to purchase at least US$200 billion in US goods and services and in exchange, the US would roll back tariffs imposed on Chinese goods. Officials have also said that other parts of the trade deal, such as intellectual property provisions, have already started being implemented.