Apr 2, 2017

Trump v China

John Minchillo / AP

President Trump has his most important foreign policy week, meeting the Egyptian President, the Jordanian King, and later in the week the big one — China's President Xi Jinping. These follow Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's well-received visit to NATO HQ in Brussels.

On China: CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper colorfully introduced Trump's meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. "Awkward," Tapper said, "to suggest a round of golf with a man whose country you just accused of raping America."

  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the chief architect of the administration's trade policies, signaled to Tapper — without specifically naming China — that the administration won't be kind to China's practice of dumping products (read: steel) into the U.S. at "unfairly low prices."

The Financial Times this afternoon popped a meaty interview with Trump. Four takeaways:

  • Trump said the U.S. will act unilaterally if China does not pressure Pyongyang: "Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you."
  • Asked whether he could cut a deal with Xi at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said: "I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries and I hope so."
  • Asked how you bring China's trade surplus down quickly: "By telling China that we cannot continue to trade if we are going to have an unfair deal like we have right now. This is an unfair deal."
  • Asked if he is going to equalize tariffs: "I don't want to talk about tariffs yet, perhaps the next time we meet. So I don't want to talk about tariffs yet. But you used the word equalise. That is a very good word because they are not equalized."

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