Surrounded by Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and CEO of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson, President Trump announced Thursday that the United States needed a “reciprocal” trade relationship with China, and said he was enacting “protective tariffs” and “investment restrictions” against China.
“The word that I want to use is reciprocal. When they charge 25 percent for a car to go in, and we charge 2 percent for their car to come into the U.S., that’s not good,” Trump said. “That’s how China rebuilt itself.”
Fox News reported: “I view them as a friend,” Trump said of China, noting he has “tremendous respect” for Chinese President Xi Jingping, but he also said the U.S. has the “largest deficit of any country in the history of our world.”
An administration official told Fox News the tariffs, which could amount to $30 billion or more, are not meant to “punish” China, but rather designed to “recover damages” from China’s unfair trade practices.
The investment restrictions, on the other hand, are meant to blunt China’s attempts to “capture the technology businesses of the future.” The official told Fox News that China’s practices of taking over international technology companies –including those in the U.S.—distorts markets and destroys the innovation cycle.
“It is out of control. We have a tremendous intellectual property theft going on,” Trump said, underscoring the “unfair trade practices” that currently exist with China. “I’ve spoken to the president, and I’ve spoken with representatives of China, and I’ve asked them to reduce the trade deficit immediately by $100 billion. We have to do that.”