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US Senator sees US keeping up with trade deal with China despite worsening relations

01 June 2020

US Senator Chuck Grassley says he does not expect President Trump to walk away from a Phase 1 trade deal with China despite escalating tensions between the two countries.

Reuters reports that Grassley, Finance Committee Chairman and a strong backer of the January trade agreement, told reporters that he felt reassured that President Trump would stick with the deal after a private conversation last week.

"I was very satisfied with his answer and you know I wouldn’t be satisfied ... if I didn’t feel like the president was going to maintain that trade agreement with China,” the senator said during a regular call with agriculture reporters.

Trump has stepped up criticism of China recently over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and a national security law that would reduce the separate legal status of Hong Kong, sparking questions about the US-China trade deal's future.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday said the Phase 1 trade deal with China was intact for now, but that Trump was so "miffed" with Beijing over the novel coronavirus and other matters it was not as important to him as it once was.

Grassley said he discussed the trade deal with Trump during last week's phone call, and told him that he believed US concerns over China's lack of transparency about the virus should not interfere with the trade agreement.

The trade deal, which took effect in mid-February, calls for China to purchase $200 billion in additional US goods and services over two years.

The US Trade Representative's office and the US Department of Agriculture last week said they saw positive signs in dealings with Beijing over agricultural products as part of the Phase 1 trade agreement, and certain US farm products could now be exported to China.

Read more about this story on Reuters.



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