FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S.-China trade deal reached in January is absolutely not falling apart and the two countries are still working on trade, White House adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday.
Kudlow told reporters at the White House the trade deal “is continuing,” a day after President Donald Trump suggested he could cut ties with the world’s second-largest economy.
In an interview with Fox Business Network broadcast on Thursday, Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the coronavirus outbreak and that the pandemic had cast a pall over the trade deal with Beijing that he considers a major achievement.
Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, was asked if the China trade deal was falling apart. “Absolutely not,” he said.
The Chinese are working toward holding up their end of the deal, Kudlow said. “They’re a little slow on the commodity purchases. I think that has a lot to do with market and economic positions,” he said.
He noted what he described as a successful phone call last week with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Liu He, China’s vice premier, as well as a good deputies call on Thursday night.
“We have other issues with China, and of course the origin of the virus … but with respect to the trade deal, it is continuing, absolutely,” Kudlow said.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Franklin Paul and Dan Grebler