The US government expects China to honor its commitments to buy more US goods under a trade deal signed by the world’s two largest economies in January despite the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, a senior US official said on Thursday, reported Reuters.
The US Treasury official said it was too soon to make accurate forecasts for the impact of the virus on the global economy, but the base case scenario sees China’s growth dropping in the first quarter and then rebounding sharply. The impact could be more significant if the outbreak worsens, said the official, who requested anonymity.
Asked if the outbreak would require changes to the Phase 1 trade deal with China, the official told reporters: “At this stage, we’re not expecting changes to implementation of Phase 1. … We still expect them to meet their commitment, but it’s over a period of time.”
Experts have expressed skepticism that China will be able to meet such aggressive purchase commitments. But the Global Times newspaper, which often speaks for the Chinese government, reported on Thursday that China was likely to buy 10 million tons of US liquefied natural gas despite a gas glut.