Trump Says Phase 2 Trade Deal With China Likely Off The Table

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that a phase two trade deal with China is unlikely to happen thanks to the damage done to the U.S.-China relationship because of coronavirus.

Trump made the statement to reporters on Air Force One while traveling to Florida to highlight a U.S. counternarcotics operation. China has been heavily criticized by the global community for its mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The relationship with China has been severely damaged. They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, they didn’t stop it. They stopped it from going into the remaining portions of China from Wuhan province. They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t. The relationship with China has been severely damaged,” he said.

Trump signed phase one of the trade deal January 15, saying the U.S. would continue negotiations well into 2020. It is unclear whether Trump intends to continue his trade war stance toward the Communist regime in the absence of negotiations. (RELATED: FLASHBACK Jan. 14: WHO Tells Everyone Don’t Worry Because China Says Coronavirus Isn’t Contagious)

The news comes as the Trump administration is reportedly preparing an announcement regarding China’s aggression in the South China Sea, according to Bloomberg News.

The U.S. Department of Defense called China’s recent military actions near the Paracel Islands “unlawful,” and the U.S. is expected to lay out its official position next week, according to Bloomberg.