2018-04-08 19:02:52 UTC
WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed friendship with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Sunday despite their trade differences, as the U.S. president and his aides sought to tamp down market fears of a trade war between between the two economic giants.
"President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade," Trump said in a tweet in which he also predicted that the U.S. would prevail and reach agreements with China on trade issues.
"China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do," Trump said. "Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!"
Trump has also said the ongoing trade dispute may generate "a little pain" in the short term, including big losses on Wall Street.
More: Trump says there may be 'a little pain' as U.S. and China trade tariff threats
China has denied American accusations of unfair trade practices and vowed to retaliate if the U.S. follows through on plans to put tariffs on Chinese goods, claims that have roiled global markets over fears that prices will rise and demand will slow worldwide.
In addition to threatening penalties on American goods, China has also asked the business community in the United States and elsewhere to protest the planned Trump tariffs.
“We call on the international business community including the United States industrial and commercial circles to take prompt and effective measures and urge the U.S. government to correct its errors,” said state newspaper People’s Daily.
President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!
As Trump tweeted, aides hit the Sunday news shows to downplay fears of a trade war with China.
Larry Kudlow, the new director of the National Economic Council, said the tariff threats are part of a negotiating tactic designed to pressure China to end unfair trade practices. Kudlow said tariffs have only been proposed, and are currently undergoing a public preview process; no final decisions have been made.
"It's a long process," Kudlow told Fox News Sunday. "So far, no tariffs and no action have been enacted."
While calling China's response "highly unsatisfactory" so far, Kudlow also said, "we're not going to end up in a trade war."
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told NBC's Meet The Press that "we're moving forward in a measured way."
While White House officials have offered similar re-assurances in recent weeks, new threats and counter-threats have increased fears; the Dow Jones industrial average fell 572 points on Friday.
The administration's threats toward China have made markets apprehensive.
U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., told Fox News Sunday he doesn't oppose tariffs on China, but Trump's approach looks like "chaos," and has "left a lot of Americans with uncertainty."
The China trade issues should be handled in "a much more calculated way," Crowley said.
The United States and China have long criticized each other over trade, but the stakes have grown over the past month.
The latest round began March 22 when the Trump administration announced plans for tariffs of up to $50-$60 billion in goods from China, in response to what it called Chinese theft of U.S. trade secrets, including state-of-the-art technology.
Hours later, China responded with plans for up to $3 billion of tariffs on U.S. goods.
Last week, the U.S. vowed to target Chinese-made medical devices, aircraft parts and flat-screen televisions with up to $50 billion in tariffs; China responded with a $50 billion threat on American products that include soybeans, small aircraft, and orange juice, a list that seemed designed to target states that supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election and would be important in a 2020 re-election bid.
Hours later, Trump ordered his administration to consider $100 billion in new tariffs in response to Chinese retaliation.
The United States hasn’t had a Trade Surplus with China in 40 years. They must end unfair trade, take down barriers and charge only Reciprocal Tariffs. The U.S. is losing $500 Billion a year, and has been losing Billions of Dollars for decades. Cannot continue!
In another tweet on Saturday, Trump again claimed unfair Chinese trade practices.
"The United States hasn't had a Trade Surplus with China in 40 years," the president said. "They must end unfair trade, take down barriers and charge only Reciprocal Tariffs. The U.S. is losing $500 Billion a year, and has been losing Billions of Dollars for decades. Cannot continue!"