President Trump announced on Monday that he is saying goodbye to planned negotiations for a phase two trade deal with China.
Though Trump made major strides toward improving relations with the Chinese government during his first several years in office, COVID-19 and the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing aggression appears to have ended any of Trump’s future plans for further deals.
Trump told Breitbart in an exclusive interview that a trade deal with China is the “last thing” he’s “thinking about right now.”
“We made a great deal, on the phase one deal,” Trump explained. “The last thing I think about right now is phase two. It’s the last thing I’m thinking about right now, is a China phase two deal, after what they did to us on the China virus.”
Trump signed a historic trade deal with China in early January as the impeachment battle raged and just as COVID-19 was beginning to pick up speed in the Chinese mainland.
After years of courting Chinese leaders to reduce the trade deficit and reorient the global supply chain around the US, the US-China relationship soon imploded as the Chinese government’s deception surrounding its handling of COVID-19 was revealed just weeks later.
Trump told Fox News on Tuesday that his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping has deteriorated as a result of COVID-19 as well.
“I used to have a very good relationship with him,” Trump said of Xi, whom he had called his “friend” on multiple occasions in the past. “I had a great relationship with President Xi. I like him, but I don’t feel the same way now,” adding that the pair have not spoken “in a long time.”
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