Trump Defends Administration’s Trade Strategy With China

Trump Defends Administration’s Trade Strategy With China

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WASHINGTON — President Trump defended his administration’s approach to trade in a series of tweets on Monday following a three-day negotiation session that ended with little clarity.

In his first Twitter post of the day, Mr. Trump questioned why Democrats and the previous administration did not “do something about Trade with China.”

On Sunday, the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said the planned American tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese goods would be put on hold as the trade talks continue.

In one of his Monday morning Twitter posts, Mr. Trump said, “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time.”

The gesture is intended to temporarily ease tensions between the two nations.

Mr. Trump has said he will negotiate a tough deal with China in order to protect American workers. Trade experts cautioned that this suspension of tariffs could hurt the president’s leverage in ongoing talks with China. Such talks in previous administrations have been slowed by lengthy negotiations.

Mr. Trump said that China agreed to purchase “massive amounts” of American agriculture products.

The president also warned China that it needs to be “strong and tight” on the border of North Korea while negotiations are in progress.

The recent talks have left unclear what the Trump administration plans to do with the Chinese telecom firm, ZTE. The firm has suffered after the United States prevented it from purchasing American components. Last week, Mr. Trump said he would rethink ZTE’s punishment in exchange for trade concessions.

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