Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated that imposing an additional tariff on China for allegedly mishandling the coronavirus outbreak is “certainly an option”.
Trump was responding to a question about his remarks a day earlier in which he had indicated at imposing tariff on China as a punishment for the spread of coronavirus.
“It’s certainly an option. It’s certainly an option,” Trump said but did not give a timeline for this.
“We’re going to see what happens. A lot of things are happening with respect to China. We’re not happy, obviously, with what happened. This is a bad situation all over the world, 182 countries. But we’ll be having a lot to say about that,” he said in response to a question.
In an interview to Buck Sexton of The Buck Sexton Show, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of being non transparent on the issue of coronavirus.
“They’ve claimed that they have been transparent, but of course, at least as of a day or two ago, we still didn’t actually have a sample of the virus. We were still working to try to understand what the scope of the risk was,” he said.
Pompeo said China claimed it didn’t know where the coronavirus came from, but those inside China, who tried to talk about the virus, were denied access.
They were told “don’t talk about that, stop it” and discussions were banned early on, he added.
“That’s not the way partners work, reliable partners work. Reliable partners share. They open up, especially when there’s trouble. They go overboard to make sure everybody can understand how it came to be. That’s all we’ve asked for,” the secretary of state said.
“We hope that the Chinese Communist Party will see their way clear to allow the world to understand how the heck this virus got out of Wuhan, China, and spread all across the world,” he said.
“We need responsibility and accountability for this outbreak,” Pompeo said.
He said it was really important to understand what happened in China during the virus outbreak to make sure something like this does not happen again.
“There are multiple labs inside of China and our understanding of what takes place there is pretty limited, and there have been examples of leaks from those labs before,” Pompeo said.
He said the coronavirus pandemic has been an expensive and costly calamity and the US needs to do its part but there is a responsibility on Chinese Communist Party to make sure something like this does not happen again.
“We have seen the narrative which is that this virus began and the Chinese Communist Party knew about it, didn’t alert the world to it in a timely fashion,” Pompeo said.
He further said the whole world world has a right to know what happened in China during the coronavirus outbreak.