Top negotiators from China and the U.S. will talk next week about the progress on the Phase One Trade Deal between the two countries. Bloomberg says the move comes after President Donald Trump threatened to terminate the agreement if Beijing doesn’t meet its obligations.
The planned phone call will be the first time the Chinese Vice Premier and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will talk about the agreement since it was signed in January. That was just before COVID-19 hit the world’s two largest economies and turned the world’s global supply chains upside down.
Trade numbers this week showed a sharp drop in U.S. exports to China when compared to the 2017 benchmark levels, which in turn caused doubt that Beijing would meet its obligation to buy at least $262 billion in U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, and energy goods.
Beijing hasn’t yet removed many of its dumping duties on U.S. imports. Trump recently told reporters that he’d be able to tell them within the next two weeks if he’s happy with how the trade deal is progressing.
Relations have been strained since the coronavirus outbreak. Trump says China misled the world about the scope and risk of the disease. China says U.S. officials are trying to “shift their responsibility for the poor handling of the disease.”