WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Trump administration remains engaged with China on Phase One of the trade agreement despite having huge complaints on other issues, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday, adding that he was particularly pleased with large Chinese purchases of US-produced commodities.
“So far, so good”, Kudlow said on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends”. “We have many huge complaints about China. But on the trade deal, we are engaged”.
US-China relations have significantly soured in the past few years, with Washington blaming Beijing for unfair trade practices, a poor response to the coronavirus outbreak, human rights violations, and unwarranted territorial disputes with neighbouring countries. China has denied the accusations.
US President Donald Trump has suggested that he might cancel the trade agreement signed at the end of January after an extended tariff war between the two countries. Under the agreement, China committed to expand purchases of certain US goods and services this year and in 2021 by a combined $200 billion from 2017 levels.
Trade officials from both countries are supposed to conduct a periodic review of the six-month-old trade deal and Kudlow described that procedure on Thursday as “normal”.
“It’s part of the process, part of the governance process of this large trade deal”, Kudlow said, adding that the “on-again, off-again” trade talks were all related to scheduling issues and not any particular acrimony.
Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics published in June findings that showed China has only bought some $40 billion of the $173 billion of US purchases committed for 2020.