President Donald Trump is pushing for a $1 billion reduction in China’s trade deficit with the U.S.
“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,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
In 2017, the deficit between Chinese goods imported to the U.S. and American goods exported to China reached $375.2 billion — an eight percent jump from $347 billion in 2016. Overall, the U.S. trade deficit rose 5 percent in January to $56.6 billion, marking the highest monthly level since October 2008 — a fact that Trump has largely attributed to a series of bad trade deals.
Overall, the United States’ trade deficit increased by 12.6 percent to $568.4 billion in 2017, marking the largest trade gap in a decade.
“Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with,” Trump also wrote. “We must act soon!”
Trump’s comments come less than a day after rumors that the administration is going to crack down on Chinese investments and impose tariffs on its imports — a punishment for Beijing’s alleged theft of intellectual property.
“The U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft,” Trump also tweeted Wednesday. “We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!”