President Donald Trump said he won’t renegotiate his so-called “phase one” trade deal with China, despite the country falling short on agreements to purchase additional U.S. exports.
“We’re not going to renegotiate,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network broadcast Thursday.
While Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods have recently picked up, the Global Times, a Communist Party publication, reported earlier this month that Beijing was weighing voiding or renegotiating the deal. The publication said that officials in the Chinese government were angered by U.S. criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump said Thursday that while he still suspects the outbreak may be connected to a virology lab in Wuhan, China, he said it was unlikely the Chinese deliberately unleashed the pathogen. “I think more likely it got out of control,” he said.
The president agreed with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that China is trying to steal intellectual property and beat the U.S. to a coronavirus vaccine.
“We can stop them, they’re going to try doing it,” he said. “I mean, you can stop doing business with them, that’s one thing.”
He didn’t elaborate.