Saturday, November 25, 2017
Nation & World

Trump says U.S. will no longer be taken advantage of on trade

RECOMMENDED READING


DANANG, Vietnam — Promising to put "America first" in his trade practices, President Donald Trump used a speech in Vietnam Friday to denounce multilateral agreements embraced by the region and deliver what appeared to be a rebuke to China, railing against trade practices he says have put Americans out of work.

"From this day forward we will compete on a fair and equal basis," Trump told a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first.

In his speech, Trump told executives gathered in the coastal city of Danang that he was happy to enter into bilateral trading agreements with any of the nations in the Indo-Pacific region — but only if they are reciprocal and fair.

"What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible," Trump said.

As one of his first acts as president, Trump rejected the far-reaching Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, disappointing many nations in the region, including the summit’s host, Vietnam.

Leaders of the 11 remaining TPP members, representing roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, were scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the APEC summit to seek an agreement in principle that would not require U.S. involvement.

But the prospects of that deal appeared in doubt Friday, as a meeting of the leaders of 11 countries still involved in the pact was delayed. There was no word on whether they had given up reaching agreement in Danang or were still working toward an agreement on how to move forward without U.S. involvement.

Meanwhile, a 16-member region-wide pact called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is also under negotiation. It encompasses China and India but also does not include the U.S.

Trump also took aim at what he described as abusive trade practices he said had "hurt many people in our country." He described "jobs, factories and industries" being "stripped out of the United States and out of many countries" as a result.

Without singling out China by name, Trump argued the U.S. had adhered to World Trade Organization principles, only to be taken advantage of by counties that had ignored the rules and engaged in harmful practices such as product dumping, currency manipulation and government subsidizing of goods.

"We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them," he said.

In the speech, Trump said he had spoken "openly and directly" with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit about "about China’s unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States."

Trump said China’s trade surplus, which stood at $223 billion for the first 10 months of the year, was unacceptable, and repeated his language from Thursday when he said he did "not blame China" or any other country "for taking advantage of the United States on trade."

But Trump went on to say that the U.S. would "no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression."

"We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access. We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business, all the time," he said.

All are allegations the U.S. has lodged against China.

It was a striking change of tone from the day before, in China, where Trump had taken a friendlier toward China as he sought to establish a more balanced trade relationship.

Xi followed Trump to the microphone but in Danang did not directly respond to Trump’s claims of trade unfairness toward the U.S.

Trump also continued to talk tough against North Korea and its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles weapons, as he has throughout the trip.

"The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail," he said.

APEC is the first of several summits Trump is scheduled to attend on his first official visit to Asia. It will be a change in pace the president, who has spent much of the week basking in elaborate welcome ceremonies and banquets between meetings with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and China.

Shortly before Trump landed, the White House announced he would not be having a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Trump had said had been expected. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed scheduling conflicts on both sides, but said it was possible the leaders could have a less formal encounter in Danang or at a later regional conference in the Philippines.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "there have been contradictory signals and we don’t have full understanding yet," according to Russian news wires. But he added: "Both presidents are in town, and their paths will cross one way or another."

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that there was no reason to schedule a meeting if the U.S. and Russia are unable to make significant progress on issues including Syria and Ukraine.

Both sides have been working to reach agreement on how they hope to resolve Syria’s civil war once the Islamic State group is defeated. The potential understanding comes as an array of forces are near a final defeat of IS, the extremist group that once controlled vast stretches of both Iraq and Syria.

Comments
‘We dare not squander the moment:’ Zimbabwe’s new leader

‘We dare not squander the moment:’ Zimbabwe’s new leader

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabweans must set aside "poisoned" politics and work together to rebuild the nation and re-engage the world, new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Friday, delivering an inclusive message to an exultant crowd that packed a stadiu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Oscar Pistorius’ sentence increased to 13 years, 5 months

Oscar Pistorius’ sentence increased to 13 years, 5 months

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa — Oscar Pistorius’ prison sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months on Friday, a surprisingly dramatic intervention by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in the Olympic athlete’s fate after the murder ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

At least 235 killed in attack at mosque in Egypt

CAIRO - Militants set off a blast and gunned down fleeing worshippers at crowded mosque in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, killing at least 235 people in what appeared to mark the deadliest single assault on Egyptian civilians by suspecte...
Published: 11/24/17
Explosion recorded where Argentina submarine went missing

Explosion recorded where Argentina submarine went missing

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — An apparent explosion occurred near the time and place an Argentine submarine vanished, the country’s navy reported Thursday, prompting relatives of its 44 crew members to burst into tears and some to say they had lost hope...
Published: 11/23/17
Flynn splits from Trump; may be cooperating with Mueller

Flynn splits from Trump; may be cooperating with Mueller

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, four people involved in the c...
Published: 11/23/17
Macy’s parade rolls on with balloons, bands, security

Macy’s parade rolls on with balloons, bands, security

NEW YORK — The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade marched, rolled and soared in traditional style Thursday as police went all-out to secure it in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots. With new faces and old favorites in the lineup, the Ame...
Published: 11/23/17
Woman charged with mailing explosives to Obama, Texas governor

Woman charged with mailing explosives to Obama, Texas governor

A Texas woman has been accused of mailing homemade explosives to former President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that could have maimed or killed them, according to documents filed in federal court last week in Houston.Julia Poff, 46, mailed...
Published: 11/23/17
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: 90 years of looking up

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: 90 years of looking up

tigers, elephants, camels and donkeys — from the Central Park Zoo. Instead of entertaining the thousands of children watching, it scared them.So in 1927, 90 years ago this Thanksgiving, organizers experimented with a new star: Felix the Cat, oversiz...
Published: 11/23/17
Smooth sailing so far on $7.5M makeover of Pilgrim ship

Smooth sailing so far on $7.5M makeover of Pilgrim ship

— If you’re a fan of the Mayflower II, here’s something that will float your boat. A year after craftsmen embarked on an ambitious effort to restore the rotting replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620, the work "is goin...
Published: 11/23/17
Zimbabwe’s incoming leader returns home to cheers

Zimbabwe’s incoming leader returns home to cheers

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Poised to become Zimbabwe’s next president, a former confidant of ousted leader Robert Mugabe on Wednesday promised "a new, unfolding democracy" and reached out to the world, saying international help is needed to rebuild the shatt...
Published: 11/22/17