TRUMP BLAMES CHINA, TO BILL FOR LOSSES DUE TO COVID19
APPREHENSIONS RAISED ON US-SINO TRADE DEAL OF JAN 2020
US President Donald Trump hinted at sending a bill to China claiming damages caused by the coronavirus epidemic to his country. He said on April 28, referring to a bill calculated and printed by a daily, that he would charge a “lot more money than the amount a German news publication has sought for Germany in a mock bill published recently”.
Trump has repeatedly termed the novel coronavirus as China Virus, as the Chinese administration has initially said that the deadly virus was spread by US Army soldiers.
The fate of the trade deal signed between the countries is also uncertain. In a partial trade pact signed between two countries on January 15, 2020, it was said that it would help check the economic struggle between two countries, as Trump administration aims to resolve some longstanding American concerns about Chinese trade abuses.
Trump on April 28 said his government is conducting “serious investigations” into China’s failure to stop the coronavirus at the “source” and present it from spreading to the rest of the world. Republicans in the US to which Trump belongs, are pushing for sending a bill to China claiming the damages.
Though serious questions are being raised about China’s handling of the outbreak that started in Wuhan in December month of 2019 and has now infected more than 3.06 million people worldwide and killed over 212,000, the American president has been seen escalating attacks on China to deflect criticism of his administration’ failure to respond aggressively to the crisis, stemming mostly from his own reluctance to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.
“Germany is looking at things and we are looking at things,” Trump said Monday in response to a question from a reporter about a mock bill published last week by a German newspaper, Bild, seeking USD 141 billion (Euros 130 billion) from China as damages. “And we are talking about a lot more money than Germany is talking about,” Trump added. However, the German government has disowned the bill and had rejected it as a conjecture.
A Republican senator from Missouri Josh Hawley moved a resolution in March that seeks to hold China “accountable” for the pandemic and “design a mechanism for delivering compensation from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to all affected nations for the harm caused by its decision to hide the emergence and spread of COVID–19 during the initial weeks of the outbreak”. Missouri State in the US has already claimed damages from China.
Trump is also pressure for initiating punitive measures against the eastern nation. He has been suggested by lawmakers to withhold payment of a debt owed to China which as proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump adviser; cut dependence on Chinese supply chains. Several legislations have been moved or are under process.
But, President Trump did not indicate as to how he proposed to bill the Chinese for the spread of the virus in America. He only said that the US “can do something much easier than” the German mock bill. “We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that,” he added.
Trump had previously raised questions about the numbers of infections and fatalities reported by China, which are also being investigated by the US.
The American president has also suspended US funding of the World Health Organization accusing it of helping China conceal the true extent of it’s, while he also slammed the world body for mismanaging the pandemic, and for opposing the January ban on travelers from China. Simian Mistreanu has recently written on Forbes.com that COVID19 would dampen the US-China trade pact. The US-China seemed to be starting the year after the pact, signed between Donald Trump and China’s vice-premier Liu He touted to put end to two years of a trade war.
Within days after the pact, deadly virus that started from Chinese city Wuhan started spreading tentacles in other cities of the eastern nation and then into outside nations. It led to falling on China’s exports by over 17% in January-February months as compared with the corresponding time of the previous year 2019. Mistreanu, adds that the country reported a rare trade deficit of USD 7.1 billion, since March 2018.
The trend questioned China’s ability to purchase, as agreed in the trade deal, USD 77 billion worth of goods from the US this year including agricultural and energy products, services, and manufactured goods. COVID-19 also adds to the uncertainty of U.S. companies operating in China, which we’re hoping for a respite from the countries’ trade frictions.
The trade war between the US and China escalated when in March 2018 Trump announced a $50 billion tariff on Chinese goods, and Beijing also responded by increasing tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 US products. China imposed a 25 percent tariff on products including US pork and aluminum scrap and 15 percent tariffs on products: wine, steel pipe, and foods including grapes, apples, and walnuts.
China has been a critical market for US manufacturers and tariffs on US imports there would almost certainly impact demand. Apple earned more than 20 percent of its total sales from China in the most recent quarter. Other companies with a big presence in the Chinese market include Texas Instruments, Intel, 3M, Qualcomm, and Nike. The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies; China is the world’s largest exporter and the United States is the World’s biggest importer. They have so far been important pillars for the global economy.