Mnuchin, Lighthizer and China’s Liu Hu speak on Phase One trade deal

The US and China see progress in the Phase One trade deal

The U.S. and China are making progress on the historic Phase One trade deal, according to the major players at the table.

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The update, delivered late Monday as the Republican National Convention kicked off, came following a previously scheduled call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Lui He.

“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement” according to a statement from Ambassador Lighthizer’s office.

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The trio discussed commitments by China to boost protection for intellectual property rights and efforts to remove barriers within financial services and agriculture, as well as the purchase of U.S. products by China.

The parties also discussed future actions needed to implement the agreement, but no specifics were offered in the update.

President Trump, last week, reiterated his frustration with the Chinese over their handling of the coronavirus as it exploded into a global pandemic after canceling trade talks that were set for early August.

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"What China did to the world was unthinkable. They could have stopped it [the coronavirus.] They stopped it from going into China and they should have stopped it, so that's correct I canceled talks with China," he told reporters during a stop in Yuma, Arizona.

Speaking to FOX Business Monday, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro reiterated the president's view on how the coronavirus was handled by the Chinese after a delegation visited the U.S. in January.

"When the Chinese came to town to sign that Phase One deal, they knew there was a deadly virus afoot" Navarro recounted.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy forcing around 57 million Americans to file for unemployment since March, some of those jobs, however, have been restored with a recovery underway.

Industries including the airlines and hotels remain depressed as leisure and corporate travel have yet to rebound.

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