US President Donald Trump on Tuesday shut the door on "Phase 2" trade negotiations with China and said he does not want to talk to Beijing about trade because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.
"I'm not interested right now in talking to China," Trump replied when asked in an interview with CBS News whether Phase 2 trade talks were dead.
"We made a great trade deal. But as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn't even dry, and they hit us with the plague," he added, referring to the novel coronavirus, which first emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Trump has continuously blamed China for sending the coronavirus to the United States, saying that China must be "held accountable" for failing to contain the disease.
In May, Trump said he had seen evidence linking the novel coronavirus to a lab in Wuhan, China, though he would not provide further details.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later echoed those comments and said there was “enormous evidence” backing claims that the COVID-19 virus spread from a Chinese laboratory.
However, the top US general said it was still unknown whether the coronavirus emerged from a wet market in China, a laboratory or some other location.