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US trade deficit a focus of Trump-Xi meeting

The US trade deficit with China is expected to be a key topic during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat. “The meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses,” Trump tweeted.

U.S. President Donald Trump set the tone for a tense first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week by tweeting on Thursday that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses.

General Electric Co Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt urged Trump on Thursday to maintain the country’s economic relationship with China. “Indeed, the United States had much to gain from globalization. The country loses if we don’t trade. The relationship with China is key,” Immelt told.

The U.S. Commerce Department said earlier that Beijing must change its trade practices and the way its state enterprises operate.

The department said it was launching a new review of China’s status as a non-market economy. It allows the United States to maintain high anti-dumping duties on cheap Chinese imports. However, the designation is widely expected to remain in place.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang stressed the need to see the big picture while fostering mutual trade interests.



Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the long-standing policy and has also written to him since seeking “constructive ties.”

Source: Reuters (30/03/2017)

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