Thursday, US President Donald Trump said it is time to stop China from “taking advantage” of America, just as a Top adviser said the administration will ask allies to pressure Beijing on its trade policies.
President Trump showed no sign of backing down after the US threatened to impose tariffs on $50-B in imports from the Asian country for alleged violations of intellectual-property rights.
Beijing responded the next day with plans to levy tariffs on US products.
“You have to go after the people who aren’t treating you right,” Trump said in West Virginia. “We’re going to have a fantastic relationship long term with China but we have to get this straightened out, we have to have some balance.”
Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has calmed investors who are concerned the spat will spark a trade war, saying on Thursday the administration was involved in “delicate negotiations” that might forestall the need for tariffs. He said the US could still hammer out a deal with Beijing, in part by convincing other major economies to call out the Asian nation for unfair trading practices.
The comments soothed financial markets that continued climbing Thursday.
Speaking shortly after Mr. Kudlow on Thursday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said there is room to make a deal. Talks with China will occur during the 60-day period before tariffs take effect, when Americans can provide the government with feedback on the proposed trade measures against Beijing.
Led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, discussions with Beijing will focus on trying “to get to some place where China stops doing what it’s doing in terms of its aggressive attacks on our economy,” Mr. Navarro said.
Mr. Navarro’s comments were the 1st indication that talks will take place at some of the highest levels of the US government. Some US economic officials are already engaged in discussions with their Chinese counterparts, according to a person familiar with the matter.