The Trump administration has requested a major reduction in the U.S.-China trade deficit – far greater than what the president claimed was requested.
The administration requested a $100 billion reduction in the trade deficit with China, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Officials from the U.S. reportedly made the request during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic deputy last week.
Trump wrote in a tweet Wednesday that China had been asked to cut the deficit with the U.S. by $1 billion, less than 0.3% of the countries’ annual trade gap.
“China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States. Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. We must act soon!” he wrote.
The U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned 16.7% to $36.0 billion in January, the highest since September 2015, while the overall shortfall jumped 5% to $56.6 billion in the month – the highest level since October 2008 – the U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday.