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Amid trade fight, Trump says he'll 'make it up' to farmers

14 April 2018
Amid trade fight, Trump says he'll 'make it up' to farmers

As Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, explained, "What the United States is doing is strategically defending itself from China's economic aggression". "They understand that they're doing this for the country".

"We will make great progress together", Trump added. "When the price of soybeans goes up, farmers are more willing to plant them".

Stocks are rising on Wall Street Tuesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping offered possible concessions in a trade dispute with the U.S. Xi promised to reduce China's tariffs on imported cars and to improve intellectual property protection, steps that could help the U.S. and China reduce recent tensions over trade. Investors may have been pleased to hear that, according to a group of legislators, President Donald Trump asked advisers to explore the possibility of the US rejoining trade talks with 11 Pacific nations.

President Trump has recently directed USA trade officials to identify tariffs on $100 billion more Chinese imports, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world's two largest economies.

"China does not seek trade surplus; we have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of worldwide payments under the current account", he said.

"We should promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, support the multilateral trading system", the Chinese President said.

In his meeting with a group of governors and senators, Trump alleged that China has consistently treated the United States agriculture "unfairly".

On Wednesday China's central bank unveiled a raft of measures to open up the country's financial sector to foreign investment, including the removal of foreign ownership caps for banks. "China will not carry out any negotiation under one-sided coercion".

Other lawmakers on congressional agriculture committees said Tuesday they're skeptical that the White House can fix any economic harm for farmers arising from a trade dispute with China by giving them temporary aid through the Agriculture Department.

Xi's comments also lifted the US dollar against the Japanese yen.

Chinese media reports earlier this week said the four apps, led by news and content aggregator Jinri Toutiao, had been ordered removed from app stores for up to three weeks.

On the US side, the tariffs will hurt, industry experts say. Kudlow, who started his job a week ago after his predecessor, Gary Cohn, quit over the tariff plan, brushed aside the possibility of economic repercussions. "But I don't think demand is going to increase substantially".

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he didn't expect the tariffs to have a "meaningful impact on the economy" even as he left the door open for disruption.

He said farmers now enrolled in subsidies based on overall revenue should be allowed to switch into programs sensitive to falling prices, the likely outcome of any trade war.

Trump's latest proposal intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle in more than a half century. Since those announcements, there have been further tit-for-tat statements and the Trump administration is reportedly planning tariffs on an additional $100bn of Chinese imports.

Volume so far on U.S. exchanges was 7.14 billion shares, compared with the 7.33 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Further escalation could be in the offing. China also pledged US$ 9.8 billion (P508.6 billion) in investments in the Philippines.