American businesses are calling on China to increase its purchases of United States goods and services as part of the two countries’ trade deal.
On Monday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 40 trade groups urged top officials from both Washington and Beijing to “redouble efforts” to implement the “phase one” agreement amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The coalition — who addressed U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — implored China to buy the $200 billion worth of additional U.S. manufactured goods, including aircraft, cars and medical devices, as well as energy and cloud services, that it had committed to purchase over the next two years.
According to the businesses, the ability to combat the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and return to global economic growth was partially dependent on the pact, which was signed in mid-January and put a pause to nearly two years of tit-for-tat tariffs between the world’s two largest economies.
“Amid increasing bilateral tensions across the relationship, working together to improve trade and grow commerce can provide important benefits to both economies and help to improve relations,” they wrote in the letter.
Recent lockdowns associated with the outbreak, which originated in China in December, have crippled businesses and economies around the world. (The illness has led to more than 11.6 million infections and at least 538,800 deaths globally.) Widespread factory and store closures have subsequently led to major disruptions across international supply chains.
Doubts over the future of trade between the countries surfaced after the U.S. alleged that China had mishandled the outbreak and contributed to a worldwide economic fallout. President Donald Trump has suggested that a “decoupling” of the two countries was still an option, while White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Monday that the American leader was mulling several executive orders that target China and manufacturing.