Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Donald Trump on Trade 'Squabble' with China: 'We Always Win'

Donald Trump on Trade 'Squabble' with China: 'We Always Win'

Trump tweeted, "My respect and friendship with President Xi (Jinping) is unlimited but, as I have told him many times before, this must be a great deal for the United States or it just doesn't make any sense".

Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump's chief economic adviser, understands that tariffs on Chinese imports are a tax paid by American companies and consumers-a point his boss refuses to acknowledge.

"We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very unfairly for many many decades ... it should have been handled a long time ago, and it wasn't and we'll handle it now", Trump said, referring to past presidents. "And while I support some of the president's strategy, I think some of it's misguided". If the Trump administration were to follow through and apply these levies, nearly all of China's yearly $540 billion worth of exports to the United States would be subject to duties.

The new round of tariffs will hit other parts of the U.S. food industry, with beans, lentils, honey, flour, corn and oats all on the list of goods that will be taxed.

Earlier on Monday, Trump had said China should not retaliate because "things could only get worse", however, just hours later China unveiled its new round of tariffs in a tit-for-tat move against the United States which had imposed $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in the midst of the trade war last week.

Beijing, meanwhile, has suggested that tariffs will hurt American consumers and companies that manufacture in China. China retaliated on Monday with tariffs on $60bn of United States imports, precipitating a dive on the USA stock markets. A further escalation of the trade war could disrupt global supply lines and damage an already slowing world economy, sending financial markets into a tailspin.

On Monday, he said his administration would provide about US$15 billion (S$20.5 billion) in aid to farmers whose products were targeted by Chinese tariffs.

Sources have said the trade talks hit an impasse after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that said its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

But both sides have expressed willingness to come together and make a trade deal to cool the escalating trade war between the two superpowers.

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