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Amid Accusation On Covid, Donald Trump Now Feels 'differently' About US-China Trade Deal

Amid Covid-19 crisis, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he now feels 'differently' about the trade deal he signed with China earlier this year.

Donald Trump

Amid already existing differences between China and the United States over the origin of Covid-19, US President on Tuesday has raised the old bone of contention between the two countries, that is the trade deal. Once dubbed as historic by him, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he now feels 'differently' about the trade deal he signed with China earlier this year. While speaking at the White House briefing, Trump said while he accused Beijing of letting coronavirus spread.

"I feel differently now about that deal than I did three months ago, Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.   We will see what all happens, but it's been a very disappointing situation. Very disappointing thing happened with China because the plague flowed in and that wasn't supposed to happen and it could have been stopped," he said.

He added that he was very excited when the trade deal with China was signed. "But once the virus came in, once the plague, as I called it, came in, I said how did they let that happen? And how come it didn't go into other sections of China? Why did they block it from leaving Wuhan? But they didn't block it from going to the rest of the world, including the United States. Why is that? Beijing doesn't have it. Other places don't have it," he said.

Till Tuesday, over 92,000 Americans have died and 1.5 million tested positive for coronavirus that has globally killed around 320,000 people.  

READ | Trump 'looking to save lives' on ventilator shipments abroad

Trade war & preliminary deal 

In January this year, the US and China had signed a deal to end their months-long trade war. According to the deal, China pledged to boost US imports by $200billion above 2017 levels and strengthen intellectual property rules. In exchange, the US agreed to halve some of the new tariffs it had imposed on Chinese products. While Washington termed it as 'transformative' for the US economy, Beijing had hoped for a 'win-win' situation.agreed to increase its purchase of US goods by USD 200 billion in 2020-2021.  

READ | WHO member countries agree to independent probe of UN agency's COVID-19 response

US- China trade war

The trade war began between the two economies when in 2018 the Trump administration imposed tariffs on more than $360bn (£268bn) of Chinese goods, accusing it of 'unfair trade practices.' China retaliated with tariffs on more than $110bn of US products. Washington delivered four rounds of tariffs from 2018-2019. The most recent was a 15% duty on Chinese imports, from meat to musical instruments. Beijing hit back with tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on US goods.

China's recent response on trade deal

Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson reportedly said that Beijing and Washington should work together to implement their ‘Phase 1’ of the trade deal. The statement by the spokesperson, Zhao Lijian came after Donald Trump said that China is seeking to renegotiate the trade deal, adding that, he is ‘not interested’ in doing so. Trump also said that he wanted to see if Beijing lived up to the deal to massively increase purchases of US goods. 

READ | China, US should work together to implement 'Phase 1' trade deal: Chinese FM spokesperson

China, Covid-19 and WHO

Meanwhile, in a recent development, member states of the WHO have agreed for 'independently' investigate into COVID-19, its origin, and the response of the UN health agency. In the World Health Assembly (WHA), countries adopted a resolution calling for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the global response of the virus outbreak and an inquiry into the actions of the WHO and “timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic”. However, China had expressed its reservation against the prob, calling it 'premature'.

READ | Trump to abandon decades-long White House portrait ceremony with Obama: Report

(with PTI inputs)

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