Trump: China Phase Two Agreement Unlikely

President Donald Trump recently told reporters a Phase Two agreement with China is not likely. The President said aboard Air Force One last week, “I don’t think about that,” adding, “The relationship with China has been severely damaged.”

Bloomberg News reports the Trump administration continues to pressure China over the COVID-19 outbreak, alleging a cover-up by China, among other things. Regarding his relationship with China, Trump says, “They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t,” referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The president is not in a good mood about China, nor is anybody in the administration,” Kudlow told Fox Business in an interview Monday. “Having said all that, we are still engaging on the ‘phase one’ trade deal … China said they will implement their side of the deal.”

Recent evidence shows China is indeed increasing its imports of U.S. ag commodities. Last week, USDA announced Chinese contracts to buy 1.4 million metric tons of U.S. corn, 190,000 tons of hard red spring wheat and 130,000 tons of hard red winter wheat.

The Phase One agreement included $200 billion of U.S. agriculture exports over two years. However, trade analysts say China isn’t purchasing at a pace to reach that level yet, and some say the level of purchases needed to meet the total is unattainable. Last month, state-owned companies in China suspended purchases from the United States over political issues.