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Virus outbreak to delay Chinese purchase of US goods: Trump aide

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Washington (AFP)

The new coronavirus outbreak in China will delay Beijing's plans to purchase goods from the United States under the terms of a trade deal, a top US trade official said Tuesday.

The US and China agreed in January to a deal that ended their trade war, with Beijing agreeing to buy an additional $200 billion in American goods over the next two years, including agricultural and manufacturing products.

But the virus -- which has killed more than 400 people, spread worldwide and disrupted business in China -- has thrown a wrench into the works.

In an interview with Fox Business Network, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged that the outbreak may delay the deal's implementation.

"The export boom from that trade deal will take longer because of the Chinese virus, that is true," he said.

However, Kudlow said he expected "minimal impact" from the virus on the US economy.

"The world is not in Wuhan," he said, referring to the Chinese city where the outbreak began.

The trade tensions between the US and China fueled a global growth slowdown in 2019, and concerns are rising that the outbreak could continue to hamper economic growth this year.

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