President Donald Trump says he’s moving to take ‘very, very strong action’ against China and other countries that have been treating the United States ‘unfairly’ in the trade arena, regardless of the warm relationship he’s established with Xi Jinping.
The U.S. president said Monday in Japan that he’s fond of Xi, the newly-elevated communist party chair of China, and the foreign leader likes him. But he won’t allow their mutual affection to cloud his judgement, Trump asserted.
‘He represents China. I represent the United States,’ Trump said at a news conference.
This Wednesday Trump travels to Beijing, his third destination on a five-nation hustle across eastern Asia. As with every other stop on this trip, North Korea is expected to dominate Xi and Trump’s discussions.
However, here more than anywhere else during the visit, Trump – a former titan of real estate – is under pressure to address the regional trade practices that he said as a candidate he would fix.
Trump pounded China for alleged currency manipulation in the presidential election last year that unexpectedly put him in power. He’s said as recently as February that the Chinese were ‘grand champions’ at the economic trick.
By artificially devaluing its currency, the yuan, Beijing has been able to been able to lower the price of its exports, ‘stealing’ American jobs, Trump has said.
His assessment was rejected by the International Monetary Fund last year, and Trump’s own administration has shied away from shackling China with the designation.
Since an April summit with Xi at Trump’s Palm Beach golf club, the U.S. president has backed off the assault.
‘The relationship developed by President Xi and myself I think is outstanding,’ Trump said after less than a day of talks with the Chinese president and his representatives.
‘We look forward to being together many times in the future. And I believe lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away.’