U.S. President Donald Trump has for the time being ruled out a second phase trade deal with China, saying the relationship between the two countries has been severely damaged with Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The relationship with China has been severely damaged. I don’t think about it now,” Trump told reporters on Friday from Air Force One when asked about the trade deal.

Earlier in the year, the Trump adminstration had signed a mega phase one deal with China, after intense negotiations between the two countries.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have spiralled downward since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. U.S. President Donald Trump has questioned the Asian powerhouse’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: Trump again blames China for COVID-19, terms it ‘Kung flu’

The two countries have also sparred over China imposing a new national security law in Hong Kong, restrictions on American journalists, treatment of Uyghurs Muslims and security measures in Tibet.

“Relationship with China has been severely damaged. They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, (but) they didn’t stop it. They stopped it from going into the remaining portions of China from Wuhan province. They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t,” Trump said.

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