Trump downplays chances of new China trade deal

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 22: U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by members of the business community as he holds up a signed presidential memorandum aimed at what he calls Chinese economic aggression in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on March 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Washington, July 11 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has downplayed chances of a new China trade deal as he slammed the Asian giants handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the media reported.

Addressing reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, the President said that the US’ relationship with China has been “severely damaged”, adding that he has “other things in mind” than a second trade agreement, known as phase two, Politico news reported.

“They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, they didn’t stop it,” he said, referring to the pandemic, which had first emerged in China’s Wuhan city last December.

“They stopped it from going into the remaining portions of China from Wuhan… They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t,” the President was quoted as saying in the Politico news report.

In January, Trump had signed the phase one trade deal with China that focused on increasing US exports of agricultural, energy and other products.

This is not the first time Trump has slammed China over the pandemic.

In recent weeks, Trump has described COVID-19 “kung flu” and the “Chinese virus”.

Top administration officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have called it the “Wuhan virus”.

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