Navarro – in an interview Monday with Fox News – said China’s satisfaction in reporting on the spread of coronavirus led early to the collapse of political and economic channels with the US. At one point, the interlocutor described Trump’s efforts to advance the trade agreement and asked Navarro, “Is that over?”
Navarro then replied, “It’s over,” before describing how the suppression of coronavirus information in China has become more widely known.
Dow futures dropped nearly 400 points after the report, which Navarro then quickly dismissed as false, saying his words were pulled “wildly out of context”.
The comments “had nothing to do at all with the Phase I trade agreement, which is still ongoing,” Navarro told CNN in a statement. “I was talking simply about the lack of trust we have now in the Communist Party of China, after they lied about the origins of the Chinese virus and sent a pandemic to the world.”
“The Chinese trade agreement is completely intact. I hope they will continue to meet the terms of the agreement!” Trump said.
White House officials said earlier that the administration was extremely disappointed with China’s failure to notify the World Health Organization or its allies early on of the deadly virus that has infected more than 9 million people worldwide today. Still, the trade deal is a central part of the president’s election for voters as he reckons the economy will pull back from the suspension to limit the spread of the virus.