WASHINGTON: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday warned China of “very significant consequences” for not honouring the trade deal signed between the two countries early this year.
“I have every reason to expect that they honour this agreement. And if they don’t, there would be very significant consequences in the relationship and in the global economy as to how people would do business with them,” Mnuchin told Fox News.
Mnuchin’s warning to China came a day after President Donald Trump said that he will terminate the trade deal with China, if they do not honour the commitment of buying an additional $200 billion worth of agricultural products from the US.
Under the US-China trade deal signed in January, Beijing agreed to buy at least $200 billion more in US products and services in 2020-2021 two-year period than it did in 2017.
Responding to a question, Mnuchin said that Trump is reviewing all issues with China very carefully.
“He’s been very clear, he is working with the intel agencies to understand what they knew and what they didn’t know. The president’s number one focus right now is the health of the American public and the US economy, but he is studying the China issue very carefully,” Mnuchin said.
In a joint op-ed, Andy Puzder and former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty said that Trump and his administration have done an extraordinary job in slowing the spread of the coronavirus by taking early action to ban travel with China and providing detailed guidelines to both mitigate the spread of the virus and reverse its devastating economic impact.
“This isn’t the first time it has been necessary for President Trump to stand up to the Communist Chinese regime,” they wrote.
Senator Ted Cruz has said that the coronavirus pandemic shows that China is the greatest geopolitical threat to the US.
“The most important long-term, national-security-informed policy consequence of this coronavirus pandemic is going to be a fundamental reassessment of the US’ relationship with China. China is the most significant geopolitical threat to the United States for the next century,” he said.
“If you look at the pandemic itself, the communist government in China bears enormous responsibility, enormous direct culpability for this pandemic. We know they covered it up. We know that when heroic whistleblower doctors tried to draw attention to it last December, the Chinese government shut them up and punished them,” Cruz said.