Spokesman: Manufacturing will guide Trump’s global trade policy

Global Business

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, with one day before he takes office CGTN learns new details about the incoming Trump administration’s position on global trade.

CGTN’s White House Correspondent Jessica Stone reports.

Spokesman: Manufacturing will guide Trump’s global trade policy

Spokesman: Manufacturing will guide Trump’s global trade policy

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, with one day before he takes office CGTN learns new details about the incoming Trump administration’s position on global trade. CGTN’s White House Correspondent Jessica Stone reports.

As Donald Trump becomes the next U.S. president, his chief spokesman Sean Spicer tells CGTN that fighting for American workers and manufacturing will be Washington’s guiding principal when it comes to global trade.

But it doesn’t mean the Trump administration wants to sacrifice access to the China marketplace for small businesses at home.

The U.S. China Business Council says more than 2.5 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with China.

“With respect to China alone, it’s a huge marketplace for American workers and small businesses. You look at the commitment that Alibaba made when they met with him the other day, talking about increasing access to small businesses,” Spicer said.

Yet, ahead of Friday’s inauguration, Beijing announced it was hiking trade penalties on U.S. grain exports. And after repeated promises by Trump to slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports, some Chinese newspapers ran editorials calling for retaliation against Washington.

China’s Commerce Ministry stressed it still intends to pursue dialogue with Washington over trade.

“We are willing to work together with the U.S. new government to continue to push forward a stable and healthy development of economic and trade relationship between China and U.S.,” Chinese Commerce Ministry Spokesman Sun Jiwen said.

On Capitol Hill, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seemed to contradict Trump’s call for tariffs.

“It’s not about limiting imports, it’s about growing exports as much as we can. You’ve also commented on IP. One of the biggest problems in certain trade agreements, is our American intellectual property is not being kept and is being taken in foreign countries,” Mnuchin said.

Almost immediately upon taking office, Spicer confirms, Trump will use his executive powers to renegotiate TPP and NAFTA — and if the U.S. Congress slows down confirmation for his trade team — he’ll act alone.