Trump at APEC summit: US will no longer tolerate trade abuses | Sunday Observer

Trump at APEC summit: US will no longer tolerate trade abuses

APEC brings together 21 economies from both sides of the Pacific
APEC brings together 21 economies from both sides of the Pacific

Nov 10: President Donald Trump has said the US will no longer tolerate “chronic trade abuses”, in a defiant address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

He said the US was prepared

to work with Apec countries as long as they “abide by fair reciprocal trade”.

America will no longer “be taken advantage of” on trade, Mr Trump said.

As part of his trip to the region, he has already vowed to correct a huge trade imbalance with China and Japan.

APEC brings together 21 economies from the Pacific region - the equivalent of about 60% of the world’s GDP.

Since taking office, President Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal with 12 APEC member countries, arguing it would hurt US economic interests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is also expected to address the summit in the Vietnamese port city of Da Nang.

Balancing trade and language

The total trade relationship between the US and China was worth $648bn last year, but trade was heavily skewed in China’s favour with the US amassing a nearly $310bn deficit.

Mr Trump has in the past accused China of stealing American jobs and threatened to label it a currency manipulator, though he has since rowed back on such rhetoric.

During his state visit to Beijing on Thursday he said: that he did “not blame China” for “taking advantage”; that previous US administrations were responsible for “a very unfair and one-sided” trade relationship with China. In response, China said it would further lower entry barriers in the banking, insurance, and finance sectors, and gradually reduce vehicle tariffs.

Mr Xi on Thursday promised “healthy” and “balanced” economic and trade relations.

Deals worth $250bn (£190bn) were also announced, although it was unclear how much of that figure included past agreements or potential future deals.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told journalists the deals were “pretty small” in terms of tackling the trade imbalance.

Before the Beijing talks, Mr Trump in Tokyo lashed out at Japan, saying it “has been winning” on trade in recent decades.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also be making a speech at the Apec summit. Japan had a $69bn (£52.8bn) trade surplus with the US in 2016, according to the US Treasury department.

Climate warning from New Zealand

As one of the first leaders to make a speech on Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said climate change was “the biggest challenge of our generation”.

“It is also the greatest challenge facing the Asia Pacific region,” she said, two weeks after having assumed office.

“We have the largest number of climate vulnerable people in the world. We are already seeing the terrible effects of climate change in our region. It is literally lapping at our feet.”

- BBC.com

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