American President Donald Trump & Chinese President XI Jinping
Washington: President Donald Trump Wednesday justified imposing tariffs on the Chinese imports, saying the US is receiving billions of dollars a month from a country that never gave it a dime.
Trump, during his second annual State of the Union (SOTU) address, said that to build on America's incredible economic success, one priority is paramount reversing decades of calamitous trade policies.
"We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.
"Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars a month from a country that never gave us a dime," the President told a joint session of the US Congress.
The SOTU address is a traditional annual speech of the US president to a joint session of Congress where he gives an account of the situation in the country.
Imposing tariffs make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and encourage consumers to buy American.
The US and China are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. In response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American imports.
China's is the world's second largest economy after the US.
Trump said he does not blame China for taking advantage of the US but "our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen".
"I have great respect for (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping), and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs," he said.
Due to the ongoing trade war, USD 250 billion in Chinese exports that are subject to US tariffs while approximately USD 85 billion in US exports are subject to China's tariffs.
In a bid to meet the US' demand of bringing down the USD 375 billion bilateral trade deficit, China has pledged to take measures to step-up American imports and investments. March 1, 2019 is the deadline for implementing the measures.
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