US President, Donald Trump has raised alarm bells with his new rhetoric of criticism over China as he threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with Beijing.
In an interview with Fox Business news on Thursday, Donald Trump continued to express his dissatisfaction over China’s failure to contain the coronavirus which wreaked havoc in the US more than any other country in the world.
While Trump made it extremely clear that he had no interest in speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the moment, when he was rather asked on measures that he intended to take against China, Trump responded – “There are many things we could do … We could cut off the whole relationship.”
The relationship that the American President is referring to is most likely to be the trade deal signed between Washington and Beijing in January this year. The phase-one trade deal that Trump signed with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, calls upon China to buy an additional US$200 billion worth of US goods over two years.
However, experts like Daniel Rosen, founder of New York-based research consultancy Rhodium Group believe that continuing the deal might be hard for China as, “China is sort of at the fairly thin end of leading economies in terms of its stimulus,” he explained in an online discussion organised by the National Committee on US-China Relations on Wednesday.
“The evidence suggests they won’t be able to stimulate nearly as much this time as they did last time around” when Beijing took strong fiscal measures to stabilise its economy amid the financial crisis of 2009.
The deal was originally hailed by Trump as “a momentous step towards a future of fair and reciprocal trade”. Meanwhile, in the present times of the pandemic for which the US has repeatedly blamed China, the President does not feel the same way about the deal now.
Waving red flags, the Trump said: “They should have never let this happen.” “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry, and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission had mentioned in a recent report that China could invoke a clause in the agreement that says, “in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseeable events” which will let it gain access to a new trade consultation between the two top economies.
However, Trump has already answered the media on this and has said that “If that happens, we’ll do a termination and we’ll do what I can do better than anybody.”
Trade Analysts have forewarned about the increasing risk to the US-China trade deal due to the rising tensions between the two superpowers. While Scott Kennedy from Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies calls Trump’s remarks as “dangerous bravado”, China-watchers, Bill Bishop says that “What we may be watching is the convergence of the more hawkish (US) national security stream with the domestic political stream that now sees more value in blowing up the trade deal than keeping it.”
Many experts rather believe that Trump’s latest rhetoric attack is a part of his campaign for the US Presidential elections scheduled for November this year. In 2016, a similar approach to China was displayed by Trump as he criticized China for its trade policies in the previous elections as well.