- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

President Trump said Tuesday that he has “great respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping but that wouldn’t stop him from getting tough on China’s unfair trade practices.

“I have great respect for President Xi,” said the president. “We have a problem with China. They’ve created a trade deficit.”

The Trump administration slapped big tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that China responded to with tariffs about $3 billion of U.S. exports that include pork, fruit and wine.

Beijing also has promised retaliation against other tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese high-tech that the Trump administration says targets the country’s unfair practices and theft of intellectual property.

The moves stoked fears around a trade war between the the world’s two largest economies and rattled stock markets around the globe.

Mr. Trump, who made battling China on trade a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential run, said Tuesday that tough measures are necessary to address America’s huge trade deficit with China.

The trade deficit was about $375 billion last year but Mr. Trump said it could go as high as $500 billion a year.

“We have to do something on trade with certain countries and obviously China is the leader in terms of deficits,” he said. “We’ve helped rebuild China. So we intend to get along with China, but we have to do something very substantial.”


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