US reports progress with China in phase 1 trade deal, but tensions remain

US officials report positive developments in trade with Beijing despite souring relations due to COVID-19.
calendar icon 22 May 2020
clock icon 2 minute read

According to reporting in Reuters, Larry Kudlow told a Washington Post live webcast interview that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "have reported to the president that the deal is intact and China has every intention of implementing it."

On 21 May the United States said it saw positive signs with Beijing over agricultural products as part of the Phase 1 trade agreement, saying certain US farm products could now be exported to China.

China has also updated its list of US facilities that could export meat and other products, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Trade Representative said in a statement.

Though the economic moves are promising, Chinese officials remain firm in their dealings with the US, telling Reuters that China will not flinch from any escalation in tensions with the United states despite believing that economic cooperation and recovery should be the top priority.

Bilateral ties between China and the United States have soured as Washington has accused Beijing of mishandling the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and blamed it for job losses and business closures caused by the pandemic.

"China won't start any trouble, but won't flinch from trouble either," Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the Chinese parliament, told reporters at a media briefing ahead of the start of the annual parliamentary session on Friday.

He said the United States would have much to lose and cooperation was the wise approach.

"Cooperation between China and the United States would only benefit both sides, while fighting would hurt each other," he said. "Cooperation is the only correct choice."

Read more about this story on Reuters.

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