Donald Trump on Phase 2 of trade deal: Not interested in talking to China
As tensions between China and US heighten, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he is not interested in talking to China regarding a Phase Two of the trade deal.
"I'm not interested right now in talking to China," Trump said in an interview with CBS News. "We made a great trade deal. But as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn't even dry and they hit us with the plague."
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the Phase One deal in January. The two sides described the pact as a first-phase agreement, to be followed by new negotiations toward a more expansive deal in a second and possibly third phase.
The world's two largest economies never set a timeline for the second phase, however, and trade negotiations were quickly overshadowed as countries around the world grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.
The economic fallout from the pandemic also made it increasingly unlikely that China would meet its targets for expanded purchases of US goods under the Phase-One deal, fueling further doubts about prospects for new talks.
The US had a USD 308 billion trade deficit in goods and services with China in 2019, due to the US importing far more goods than it exports. That deficit is little changed since 2016, when Trump took office but is down from a peak imbalance of nearly USD 380 billion that was reached in 2018.