The coronavirus outbreak in China will dent the economy but will not keep the country from buying US goods as part of the "phase one" trade deal signed last month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.
Economists fear the virus, which has prompted businesses to close their doors and has shut down air transport which is key to the US supply chain for parts and inputs, could take a chunk out of US and global growth in the first quarter of the year.
Under the deal signed by President Donald Trump, Beijing agreed to import $200 billion worth of US goods, including $32 billion in farm products and seafood, but the spread of the ailment has raised concerns China might not be able to meet that already-ambitious target.
"Based on our current projection to the virus, we're not worried about that," Mnuchin said on Fox Business network. "I don't expect there will be any issues in them from fulfilling their commitments."
While it is too soon to evaluate the impact, he said, "There's no question that that the virus will have some impact on global growth and some impact on the US."
Treasury is "monitoring the virus carefully," but so far has not seen "big issues" with supply chains to US firms.