Trump suggesting China will 'take down' its trade barriers

Marsha Scott
April 9, 2018

As Donald Trump threatens to impose additional tariffs on imports from China, industrial insiders believe the US -initiated tensions will hurt American consumers and companies.

US President Donald Trump said China will relax its trade restrictions in response to US pressure "because it's the right thing to do", as the world's largest economies teeter on the brink of a trade war that's unsettled global financial markets and sent the US stock market reeling.

The president also mentioned the dispute may have ended on good terms, saying both countries will continue to have a 'great future'.

Larry Kudlow, the new director of the National Economic Council, said the tariff threats are part of a negotiating tactic created to pressure China to end unfair trade practices.

Besides reassuring the hundreds of foreign investors present that U.S. protectionism won't produce the same in the world's second-largest economy, he must deliver a strong warning about letting the tariff disputes escalate into a trade war. "And second of all, and this is, to me, absolutely important: I think he needs to be able to explain to the American what his endgame is".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC he was "cautiously optimistic" that the US and China could reach an agreement before any tariffs go into place. "China has been getting away with this for decades".

He added that he and China's President Xi Jinping "will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade".

The two countries have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs in recent days and Chinese officials have said this is not the time for negotiations.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said a trade war isn't the end goal - at least he hopes not. They suggested the trade dispute may be resolved through negotiations and that the "process may turn out to be very benign", according to Kudlow.

Kudlow said tariffs have only been proposed, and are now undergoing a public preview process; no final decisions have been made.

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That comes after on Chinese imports and limit the country's investment in the US.

"But we're clear-eyed about this".

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told NBC's Meet The Press that "we're moving forward in a measured way". He's got to show he's ready to retaliate against USA trade threats while demonstrating China's commitment to opening up.

Some major US companies appear reluctant to criticize Beijing publicly, for fear of jeopardizing access to the world's second-largest economy. "And the president has said - sectors like agriculture, he's prepared to defend", Mnuchin said.

U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., told Fox News Sunday he doesn't oppose tariffs on China, but Trump's approach looks like "chaos", and has "left a lot of Americans with uncertainty". He said the Chinese "are going to have to make concessions - period".

The pushing for a crackdown on what it says is China's theft of U.S. intellectual property.

The rising economic tensions pose a test to what has become Trump's frequent dual-track foreign policy strategy: to establish close personal ties with another head of state even as his administration takes a harder line.

"At the end of the day, the president promised if he got to be president he would push back against China", Graham said in an interview on ABC News' "This Week". They're pushing back against us.

On Friday, Kudlow said that the United States and China are holding "back-channel discussions" to resolve the escalating trade dispute.

She added, "This is costing us jobs in this country, and we do need to get tough with China". He allowed that there "could be" a trade war but said he didn't anticipate one. Collins called it a "very delicate balancing act".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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