As the Global Times reports, China and the US have moved to implement the phase one trade agreement and both sides cut by half some tariffs on tens of thousands of each other’s products.
In spite of China’s commitment to the phase one deal and further negotiations, the novel coronavirus epidemic and US officials’ intensifying crackdown on Chinese telecom giant Huawei could cast some uncertainty going forward, Chinese trade experts noted.
In the wake of the epidemic, some in the US have raised questions over China’s willingness as well as the ability to fulfill its commitments.
Many in China have also suggested the use of a disaster-related clause in the phase one deal to start consultations with the US over the purchases.
China continues to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has brought the world’s second-largest economy to a near standstill, there have been rising concerns over the implementation of the phase one agreement and negotiations for a phase two deal.
“The epidemic will be too big a problem for the agreement to go into effect and be implemented,” Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday.
Although the epidemic might have “a little” impact on imports from the US, it will not affect the figure both sides have agreed, Gao said. “It will only be a delay rather than a cancellation.”
Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, which represents US companies that work with China, also said that the epidemic will not halt China’s purchases of US goods and services, according to Reuters.