Navarro steps back from comments that China trade deal is 'over'

Navarro steps back from comments that China trade deal is 'over'
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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has walked back his statements suggesting that the trade deal between the U.S. and China was in peril, saying Monday that his words were taken “wildly out of context.”

“They had nothing at all to do with the phase one trade deal, which continues in place,” Navarro said, according to Reuters. “I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE on Monday said in a tweet that the deal was "fully intact" and that he hopes that Beijing will "continue to live up to the terms of the agreement."

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Navarro had earlier that day said that the new trade deal was "over," citing that the U.S. only learned about the spread of COVID-19 after a Chinese delegation had left Washington, D.C., after the signing of phase one of the deal on Jan. 15.

“It was at a time when they had already sent hundreds of thousands of people to this country to spread that virus, and it was just minutes after wheels up when that plane took off that we began to hear about this pandemic,” Navarro told Fox News.

Navarro's initial remarks regarding the status of the trade deal were met with consternation from Chinese officials on Tuesday.

“He consistently lies and has no honesty and trustworthiness,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a news briefing, Reuters reported.

He added: “China’s stance on the issue has been consistent and clear.”

As part of the first phase of the trade deal, China agreed to increase its purchase of American goods by $200 billion over two years.