March 4, 2020 / 9:31 PM / a month ago

U.S. should give China leeway in implementing trade deal due to virus-Grassley

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Washington needs to give China some leeway in implementing a Phase 1 trade deal given a downturn in the Chinese economy caused by the fast-spreading coronavirus, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said on Wednesday.

Grassley told Reuters in an interview that he saw no evidence that China intended to try to escape its commitments under the trade deal to sharply increase its purchases of U.S. farm goods, manufactured products, energy and services.

But the coronavirus could require some adjustments and would likely delay the start of negotiations on a Phase 2 trade agreement, he said.

China’s moves to reduce some tariffs on U.S. goods and allow U.S. inspections of their food showed they were acting in “good faith,” Grassley added. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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