In a Tweet, Wednesday, US President Donald Trump says Washington’s relationship with China has been a good one. But calls for China to develop a plan to reduce the trade deficit between both countries. According to White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, the Trump administration has taken a stance against unfair trade policies.
“President’s been very clear that he wants to address the trade imbalance that the United States has with a number of countries. He feels like the United States has been taken advantage of for far too long and he’s not gonna allow that to continue under his watch.”
President Trump is set to authorize tariffs of 25 percent on steel import and 10 percent on aluminum imports, later this week. The measure has caused the first major rift between the president and some members of his party who say the tariffs would do more harm than good.
“Clearly there is over-capacity dumping and transshipping of steel and aluminum by some countries, particularly China. But I think the smarter way to go is to make it more surgical and more targeted.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently sent his economic advisers to Washington to discuss trade relations while the White House says they will continue those conversations. China has urged the United States to exercise restraint in using trade protection tools.
“We don’t want to trade wars. We hope to abide by the international rules, especially the rules of the World Trade Organization. In this regard, China and the United States are in the process of consultation. Of course we are ready for all the possibilities.”
In the Washington, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer an outspoken critic of Trump says he will back the president’s as long as the target is China.
“Mr. President focus on China. Go after China and do it in a smart, focused but sharp-edged way. Don’t create a policy that hurts our allies more than it hurts China.”
China, the world’s largest steel exporter, accounted for just 2 percent of total US imports in 2017.
Jesusemen Oni, VOA News Washington.