Coronavirus | China, U.S. commit to implement trade deal despite row over virus

Chinese and U.S. trade representatives agreed on Friday to “create favourable conditions” for the phase one trade deal signed in January, officials said, despite recent tensions over the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice Premier Liu He, who had led Beijing’s negotiations, held a call in the morning with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Also read: U.S., China tiptoe around holes in new trade agreement

‘Good progress’

“Both sides said they should strengthen macroeconomic and public health cooperation, strive to create a favourable atmosphere and conditions for the implementation of the phase one U.S.-China economic and trade agreement, promoting positive results,” a notice from China’s Ministry of Commerce said.

U.S. officials said after the call that both parties agreed “good progress” is being made on creating the governmental infrastructures needed to make the agreement a success.

“They also agreed that in spite of the current global health emergency, both countries fully expect to meet their obligations under the agreement in a timely manner,” said the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury in a statement.

The countries have also agreed to maintain communication and coordination.

The call is believed to be the first time they have officially spoken about the agreement since it was signed, and comes after both nations traded barbs over the deadly virus.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs against China after claiming there was evidence linking COVID-19 to a top-security lab in the central city of Wuhan, where the pathogen first emerged late last year. China has denied the claims.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 3:56:51 PM |

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