WASHINGTON — The White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said on Monday night that the trade deal between the United States and China was “over,” briefly causing stock markets to dive before he and President Trump quickly walked back the remarks.
“The China Trade Deal is fully intact,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter after Mr. Navarro, a noted China critic, had appeared on Fox News. “Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!”
The events underscored the sensitivity of the “Phase 1” trade deal that the United States and China signed in January, which buoyed stock markets and brought to a close a prolonged and bruising trade war. But tensions have been rising sharply between the two countries over the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and China’s assertion of power over Hong Kong, putting that pact into an increasingly precarious position.
Mr. Trump’s tweet was his firmest defense of his signature trade deal in weeks. While some of the president’s advisers believe that he has little to gain politically from scrapping it, others have said that his dissatisfaction with China is growing, raising the question of whether the United States would challenge China’s compliance with the pact.
Mr. Trump has also turned increasingly critical of China because of the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in a city there, and its damaging effects on the United States economy. And agricultural groups that were intended to benefit from the trade deal have complained to the Trump administration that China is lagging significantly behind targets in its promised purchases of farm goods, and that Chinese buyers are bypassing American soybeans for Brazilian ones.
But in testimony before Congress last week, Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative and the deal’s primary architect, forcefully defended China’s progress in fulfilling the pact. He said that he was in frequent contact with Chinese officials and that they were working hard to live up to their agreements.
“Every indication is that in spite of this Covid-19, they are going to do what they say,” Mr. Lighthizer said.
In an interview on Monday evening, Martha MacCallum of Fox News asked Mr. Navarro about the president’s desire to maintain the deal as long as possible. “He wanted them to make good on the promises because there had been progress made on that trade deal, but given everything that’s happened and all the things you just listed, is that over?” she asked.
“It’s over. Yes,” Mr. Navarro responded, adding that the “turning point” was China’s failure to warn the United States about the dangers of the coronavirus, which was spreading even as they concluded the pact.
Frequently Asked Questions and Advice
Updated June 22, 2020
Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?
A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.
I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?
The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.
What is pandemic paid leave?
The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.
How does blood type influence coronavirus?
A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.
How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?
The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.
My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?
States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.
How can I protect myself while flying?
If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
How do I get tested?
If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.
“It was just minutes after wheels up when that plane took off that we began to hear about this pandemic,” he said.
Shortly after the interview, Mr. Navarro issued a statement recanting the remarks, saying they had been taken “wildly out of context.”
“They had nothing at all to do with the Phase 1 trade deal, which continues in place,” Mr. Navarro said. “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.”