Nov 10, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Trump back to usual trade rhetoric in APEC speech

President Trump delivers a speech at the APEC summit. Photo: Anthony Wallace / Pool Photo via AP

In his speech to CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam, President Trump seemed to issue a veiled warning to China on trade, saying that his administration is "not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore." He reiterated his often heard pledge to "put America first."

Why it matters: Trump just had a relatively quiet few days in China, where he even complimented the Chinese on taking advantage of the U.S. for so long on trade — a fact he referenced in his speech. So his change back to his usual rhetoric is notable after seemingly friendly, balanced talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Don't forget: Trump fulfilled a key campaign pledge earlier this year by pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That multinational trade deal was an expected boon for many of the nations attending APEC — not to mention a check on Chinese trade power in the region.

More from Trump's speech:

  • On China, by name: "I recently had an excellent trip to China, where I spoke openly and directly with President Xi about China's unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States."
  • On China, not by name: "We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access. We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business, all the time."
  • A movie reference: "Finally, let us never forget the world has many places, many dreams, and many roads. But in all of the world, there is no place like home."
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