Date
21 October 2019
Donald Trump answers questions from the media during the ‘3rd Annual Made in America Product Showcase’ on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump answers questions from the media during the ‘3rd Annual Made in America Product Showcase’ on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Trump sees slowing Chinese growth pressuring Beijing on trade

US President Donald Trump on Monday seized on slowing economic growth in China as evidence that Washington’s tariffs were having “a major effect”, and warned that his administration could pile on more pressure as bilateral trade talks sputter along, Reuters reports.

Data released earlier on Monday showed growth in the world’s second-largest economy had slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, its weakest pace in at least 27 years, amid ongoing trade pressure from the United States.

“This is why China wants to make a deal with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place,” Trump tweeted.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later said he and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would speak with their Chinese counterparts by phone again this week as part of the recently resumed trade talks.

A face-to-face meeting hinges on progress in the year-long trade war, he added.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month agreed to another truce in the year-long trade spat between the world’s two largest economies.

That agreement, announced after the leaders met in Osaka, Japan, was aimed at kick-starting stalled negotiations, but no deadline has been set for the process to conclude.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated that China has not delivered on what he views as a promise by the Chinese side to start buying more US agricultural goods, even as talks continued.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business Network the administration is still waiting for Beijing to reciprocate for goodwill gestures such as eased restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies and a freeze in any new tariffs.

“We expect the Chinese to be launching a significant purchase of US agriculture products, goods and services. We haven’t seen that quite yet, but we’re very keenly watching the developments there,” he said.

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