U.S. President Donald Trump applauds China over trade talks


US-POLITICS-TRUMP-TAXESUS President Donald Trump arrives to speak about tax cuts for Americans from the Rose Garden at the White House on April 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM)

U.S. President Donald Trump applauded China over the discussions the two countries have had on trade.

President Trump blamed past U.S. trade representatives for getting America into what he called stupid trade deals, going back years. He praised Chinese President Xi Jinping. CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

“We have the kind of relationship that, I think, is going to be very aggressively sustained,” Trump said.

The president’s comments come after two weeks of mixed messages on trade from The White House. The administration had proposed tariffs on a total of 150 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods.

Some officials had suggested the proposed tariffs could be a bargaining ploy. Trump considers it negotiating.

“We put a $50 billion tariff on, then, we put a $100 billion tariff on. You know, at a certain point, you run out of bullets. Remember what I said, when you’re $500 billion down, you can’t lose a trade war and I won’t call it a trade war because it’s really a trade negotiation,” Trump continued.

In his speech at the BOAO Forum, President Xi spoke in favor of globalization and free trade. On Thursday, China’s Ministry of Commerce echoed that support of multilateralism, while standing firm against the U.S.

“China has always been a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system, resolutely opposing unilateralism and safeguarding the multilateral rules. At the same time, we will take any proper measures to resolutely fight back actions that infringe upon the rights and interests of China,” China’s Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said.

As Trump made his comments at the White House, business representatives were testifying before a congressional committee about U.S. tariffs, with some supporting the idea:

“Withdrawing the threat of tariffs without achieving results would be tantamount to waving the white flag of trade surrender,” Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul said.

Others said the new U.S. steel tariffs are actually hurting U.S. businesses and more tariffs will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

“The raw steel targeted with these tariffs makes up half the cost of our products and our customers won’t pay for a 40% increase. At least that’s what they’ve told us and our lack of new orders recently confirms that” Kennedy Fabricating President Kevin Kennedy said.

Adding to the mixed messages out of Washington, President Trump instructed his economic team to look into rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to a Republican Senator who attended a trade meeting at The White House.

Trump campaigned against U.S. participation in TPP—a multilateral trade agreement meant, in part, to blunt China’s economic influence. He pulled the U.S. out of the deal shortly after taking office, but since then has said he would rejoin if terms were more favorable to the U.S.

Sourabh Gupta discusses developments in trade issues between China and US

CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with Sourabh Gupta of the Institute for China-America Studies about trade issues between China and the U .S.