YUMA • President Donald Trump said he called off last weekend’s trade talks with China, raising questions about the future of a trade deal that is now the most stable point in an increasingly tense relationship.
“I cancelled talks with China,” he said on Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona. “I don’t want to talk to China right now.”
The phase one trade deal, which came into force in February, had called for discussions on its implementation every six months.
China’s imports of US farm and manufactured goods, energy and services are well behind the pace needed to meet the first-year target increase of US$77 billion (S$105 billion) over 2017 purchases under phase one of the agreement.
But its purchases have increased as China’s economy recovers from the coronavirus lockdown.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He was supposed to hold a videoconference with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but it was postponed indefinitely.
Talks between the US and China continue regularly at lower levels, according to Mr Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
Mr Trump has been stepping up complaints about China, particularly over the spread of the coronavirus.