World Economy

White House Warns China on Trade

White House Warns China on TradeWhite House Warns China on Trade

The White House warned China it will “defend” US and international “interests” and that trade must be a “two-way street.”

Signaling President Donald Trump’s tough stance against Beijing on Monday, spokesman Sean Spicer said that Trump is aware that US firms need access to China’s large domestic market, but that he is not prepared to accept that current arrangements continue, AFP reported.

“In many cases, it’s not a two-way street,” he argued. “There’s so many Chinese businesses and individuals frankly, who can have ease of access in the United States to sell their goods or services.”

He also took a tough line on trade, returning to Trump’s campaign theme that existing rules favor Chinese exports to the United States and cost American jobs.

Spicer cited limits on the penetration of US financial and banking services in China, and noted the difficulties of US firms protecting their intellectual property rights.

Trump “understands the market that China has and our desire to further penetrate that market,” Spicer argued. “But he also recognizes there are a lot of concerns with how we are treated entering into China’s market and we need to review that.”

Trump advisors have mulled declaring China a “currency manipulator,” or levying tariffs on Chinese products in a bid offset in the import gap.

Even before taking office, Trump infuriated Beijing accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The move upended decades of diplomatic precedent in which the US president avoided direct public communication with the island’s leader.

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