President Trump used the world stage on Tuesday morning to criticize China and its trade practices, calling for drastic change at the World Trade Organization while vowing to defend American interests.
Trump, while delivering his third address before the United Nations General Assembly, noted that when the WTO admitted China in 2001, American leaders hoped it would be a catalyst for Beijing to liberalize its economy and follow the rule of law. Instead, Trump said, China continued to flout those rules.
“Not only has China declined to adopt promise reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and the theft of IP, and trade secrets on a grand scale,” he said during the 30-minute speech.
But Trump, who has made negotiating a trade deal with China a pinnacle of his presidency, said he intends to put an end to those practices with the slew of tariffs he has in place on more than $300 billion of Chinese goods. (By mid-December, barring any last-minute changes, that number will climb to $500 billion).
The world’s two largest economies have remained embroiled in tariff war for more than a year. Trade talks are expected to resume in two weeks in Washington, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“The American people are definitely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with China,” Trump said. “Hopefully we can reach an agreement that will be beneficial to both countries. But as I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people.”