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Trump, China Criticize Opposing Trade Actions


09 April, 2018

United States President Donald Trump has criticized U.S. trade relations with China.

The president expressed opposition to what he called "stupid trade" relations with China. His comments appeared Monday on the Twitter social media service.

"When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%," Trump said on Twitter. "When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%. Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE - going on for years!" he wrote.

Trucks transport containers at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, Apr. 8, 2018.
Trucks transport containers at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, Apr. 8, 2018.

His tweet comes after the U.S. and China have each announced lists of imported products that will face new taxes.

Earlier Monday, China's foreign ministry said that trade talks under the current conditions were not possible.

However, on Sunday, Trump tweeted that he believed trade disputes with China would be solved. He said, "China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do."

Trump added that he believed taxes on trade between the two sides would become reciprocal. He also said he believed that there would be a deal on intellectual property that would be good for the future of both countries.

The U.S. leader called Chinese President Xi Jinping "a friend" no matter what happens in the trade dispute.

Sides trading tariffs

Last week, China announced tariffs on more than 100 U.S. products, including vehicles and plastic goods. The list also includes agricultural products, such as soybeans, wheat, corn, beef and tobacco. The new tariffs would affect $50 billion worth of American products.

The move followed a Trump administration announcement that it plans to impose tariffs on about $50 billion dollars in Chinese exports. A list of products has yet to be identified. However, after China announced its latest measures on Thursday, President Trump suggested that he might impose additional tariffs. He said those taxes might affect $100 billion in Chinese goods.

The suggestion added to growing tensions over trade.

Speaking to CBS News Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, while there is a risk of a trade war, he does not believe one will take place.

"Our expectation is that we don't think there will be a trade war. Our objective is to continue to have discussions with China. I don't expect there will be a trade war," he said.

Many U.S. lawmakers are concerned that American businesses could be hurt if China sets up more tariffs on U.S. goods.

Gary Hufbauer is with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He told VOA that the president and Trump administration officials recognize that tariffs would be "very damaging to both economies."

Hufbauer noted that, "The short-term impact would be highly adverse. Both sides have a lot to gain by negotiations rather than actually implementing a tariff war," he said.

I'm Mario Ritter.

Ken Bredemeier reported this story for VOANews. Mario Ritter adapted his report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit 51VOA.COM.

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Words in This Story

tariffs – n. taxes on imported or exported goods or services

reciprocal – adj. a situation where each side agrees to do something similar for the other

intellectual property – n. property that come from invention or ideas, which is protected by patents or copyright agreements

mattern. something that is being done or talked about

impose – v. to put a rule, law or tax officially into effect

adverse – adj. not good, unfavorable

implementing – v. causing some plan or policy to happen or take place

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