Trump calls China’s tariffs on U.S. cars ‘stupid trade’

President Donald Trump decried the taxes the Chinese government imposes on the import of U.S. cars, insisting that his announced tariffs on Chinese goods are the antidote to “stupid trade” practices allowed for years by his predecessors.

“When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%,” Trump wrote on Twitter just after 6 a.m. Monday morning. “Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!”

Long a part of his political platform, trade has become an especially key point of fixation for the president in recent weeks as he has begun to ramp up his pledge to level the playing field of international trade. Although he has imposed some across the board tariffs, the bulk of Trump’s announced trade moves have targeted China, with which the U.S. runs a significant trade deficit.

Already, Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and ordered his U.S. trade representative to study tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth imports from China. Beijing, in response to the president’s $50 billion tariff announcement, retaliated with tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. imports, targeting 106 products, including soybeans, cars and airplanes.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman blamed the United States for the current trade discord between the countries and said “under the current circumstances, both sides even more cannot have talks on these issues,” according to Reuters.

The spokesman, Geng Shuang, spoke after Trump on Sunday expressed optimism that China would remove trade barriers.Despite fears that the tit-for-tat on tariffs could launch a full-scale trade war between the U.S. and China, the Trump administration has insisted that its interest is in recalibrating America’s economic relationship with Beijing. Via Twitter, Trump has insisted he is unafraid of a trade war, calling them “easy to win,” and suggesting that the U.S. would have “nothing to lose” in such an economic climate with China because there is already such a trade deficit.

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