“I feel very differently now about that deal than I did three months ago," the president said. “We'll see what happens."
“It just seems to mean less to me,” Trump explained. “It was very exciting, one of the biggest deals ever made. But once the virus came in, I said, 'how did they let that happen?'”
“Why did they block it leaving Wuhan into China but they didn’t block it from going to other parts of the world?” he added.
Trump signed a landmark trade deal with China in January, easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies amid a trade war after accusations that China had for decades been manipulating its currency and stealing U.S. trade secrets.
The agreement, which was first reported on Dec. 12, 2019, includes commitments from Beijing to halt intellectual property theft, refrain from currency manipulation, cooperate in financial services and purchase an additional $200 billion of U.S. products over the next two years.
The purchases will include up to $50 billion of U.S. agriculture, according to Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, $40 billion of which has been confirmed by Chinese sources. China will also buy $40 billion in services, $50 billion in energy and $75 to $80 billion worth of manufacturing, sources have said.
In return, the U.S. will reduce tariffs on some products made in China, but keep duties the White House has imposed on $375 billion worth of merchandise. Following the phase-one signing, $250 billion of Chinese imports will still be subject to a 25 percent tariff and $125 billion of Chinese goods will be under a 7.5 percent levy.
The Trump administration has been mulling avenues to possibly punish or seek financial compensation from China for what it sees as withholding information about the virus.
"There are many things we could do," Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. "We could cut off the whole relationship."
"Now, if you did, what would happen?" Trump said. "You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship."
The Trump administration has already taken a number of steps to sever ties with the communist country, including cutting investment ties between U.S. federal retirement funds and Chinese equities.
There is increasing confidence from intelligence officials that the outbreak likely escaped from the Wuhan lab, not as a bioweapon but as part of a Chinese effort to show that its abilities to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than those of the U.S.
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that China "will be held accountable" for its coronavirus response, despite the trade deal.
"This will be investigated over a period of time, and we will see how it turns out," Kudlow told "Bill Hemmer Reports."
"We still have a trade deal with China, but they will be held accountable."
Fox Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.