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Trump says could 'decouple' and not do business with China

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, in a Fox News interview airing Sunday, raised the possibility of decoupling the U.S. economy from China, a major purchaser of U.S. goods.

In a video excerpt, Trump initially told interviewer Steve Hilton “we don’t have to” do business with China, and then later said about decoupling: “Well it’s something that if they don’t treat us right I would certainly, I would certainly do that.”

Trump entered into a high-stakes trade war with China before reaching a partial Phase 1 trade deal in January. Trump has since shut the door on Phase 2 negotiations, saying he was unhappy with Beijing’s handling of the pandemic.

In June U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies will result if U.S. companies are not allowed to compete on a fair and level basis in China’s economy.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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