According to a leak that appeared in Global Times, a state-owned news outlet, Chinese government officials are discussing whether to withdraw from a major trade deal with the United States. In response to the report, President Donald J. Trump said the United States would not be interested in a renegotiation of the agreement.
The Global Times is published and sponsored by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Although the Global Times in not an official paper of the CCP, Beijing has previously used the outlet as a way to leak potential actions China could take in the face of US aggression.
Under the terms of the agreement signed in January, China agreed to buy at least $200 billion in additional US goods and services over a two year period. The United States, on the other hand, was to decrease tariffs on Chinese goods in stages. If Washington decides to truly increase pressure on Beijing over perceived wrongdoings during the COVID-19 pandemic, China may intentionally fail to increase imports from America to the agreed-upon levels, or abandon the agreement altogether.
COVID-19 has already had a disastrous impact on the ability of the People's Republic to fulfill the terms of the trade-pact. According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, US exports to the PRC of manufacturing, agriculture, energy and services will only total around $57 billion, well below what was originally laid out in the agreement.
Adding to the deal's troubles, increasingly harsh and hostile rhetoric coming out of both Washington and Beijing will undoubtedly place it in jeopardy. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, highlighting this growing conflict, declared in an interview with CNBC, "a bill has to come due for China. They inflicted tremendous damage on the world which is still ongoing."