Trump defends tariff threat against Mexico, calls it 'beautiful thing'

Andrew Cummings
June 11, 2019

"If there is any news in this regard, we will release it in due time".

Late last month Trump said he would impose tariffs on Mexican goods if Mexico did not agree to take strong steps to curb the flow of mostly Central American migrants crossing the US-Mexico border. Beijing has hit back with its own retaliatory tariff increases.

Senior Trump advisors, such as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, have instead emphasized a broader goal of getting China to address structural problems such as protectionism against foreign-service industries, state subsidization of much of the Chinese economy, state-sponsored industrial espionage and acquiescence to intellectual property theft, and forced technology transfer as the price foreigners must pay to do business in China.

He also has complained about the Chinese currency, saying it has been kept artificially low to keep exports cheap. He added that the U.S.is going to look at the issue differently, not pointing to any specific plan to do so.

And, since the European Union is positioning for billions in fees and penalties with the tech companies, President Trump concluded that the USA should get in on that, too.


Trump said a meeting with Xi has been "scheduled" during the G20 summit in Japan later this month, and that he expected the Chinese leader to attend.

"China does not want to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting a trade war", he said in a press briefing Tuesday. "If the U.S. is willing to negotiate on an equal footing, our doors are always open".

"If the United States insists on escalating trade frictions, we will resolutely respond and fight until the end".

Trump's tariff rattling has spooked global markets and also run into pushback from many in Congress.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday downplayed the summit meeting in Japan, saying it would not be "a place where anyone makes a definitive deal".


"The head of the Fed in China is President Xi", Trump told CNBC television in a telephone interview Monday.

China reported on Monday its exports unexpectedly grew 1.1% in May from a year ago despite the higher USA tariffs, but imports fell the most in almost three years. After Mr Xi's administration refused to confirm a meeting between the two leaders was in the diaries for later this month, Mr Trump said there will be consequences if the Chinese leader fails to show.

Washington last month put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bars USA firms from selling to the company without government approval.

Chinese authorities say the United States is exaggerating security concerns to block a potential competitor.

But U.S. officials have made it their mission to persuade other governments to avoid working with Huawei, warning that Washington might not share sensitive information with allies if they are using Huawei equipment and networks that the Washington suspects could be compromised.


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