Officials in the Trump Administration are talking positively about China’s commitments in implementing the Phase One trade deal with the U.S. Politico says that’s even as the coronavirus outbreak that began in China is straining relations between the countries.
The deal requires China to make their markets more open, as well as increase its purchases of U.S. farm goods, manufactured goods, as well as energy and services by $200 billion above 2017 levels in the next two years. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says China is working to expand access for U.S. producers.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is also upbeat about the recent steps China took to open its market to U.S. goods like avocados, blueberries, barley, meat, dairy, and forage products. However, officials didn’t release the exact numbers of goods China has bought since the start of 2020. U.S. trade data that came out earlier in May showed that U.S. goods exported to China were actually coming in below the benchmark levels set in 2017. That prompted President Trump to say there was always the option of ending the agreement if China didn’t meet its obligations.