Trade Talks: Trump Threatens to ‘Decouple’ US Economy from China

Published August 24th, 2020 - 09:00 GMT
Trade Talks: Trump Threatens to ‘Decouple’ US Economy from China
Trump issued executive orders that would ban popular short video apps TikTok and WeChat from operating in the US if they were not sold by their Chinese-owned parent companies within 45 days. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
​​​​​​​Trump told a Fox News interview on Sunday that the US does not have to do business with China, a major purchaser of US products.
President Donald Trump has threatened to “decouple” the US economy from China, while Beijing is trying to use the upcoming trade talks with Washington as a chance to prevent, or at least slow, a full-fledged trade war that has long affected the world economy.


Trump told a Fox News interview on Sunday that the US does not have to do business with China, a major purchaser of US products.

“Well it’s something that if they don’t treat us right I would certainly, I would certainly do that,” Trump added.

Under the “phase one” trade deal, signed in January, China was committed to purchase at least $200 billion more in US goods and services over two years on top of its purchases in 2017.

China has fallen short so far due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unhappy with China's purchases, Trump said he postponed discussions on the phase one trade deal.

The meeting was expected to discuss progress on the trade war, launched in 2018, when Washington first imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from China.

Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars in two-way trade.

The US says a primary goal of the aggressive tariff strategy is to decrease the trade imbalance with China, which totaled 379 billion dollars in 2018.

In addition to the trade war, the two sides also spar over the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong, the south China Sea and technology.

TikTok to sue Trump over ban

In mid-August, Trump issued executive orders that would ban popular short video apps TikTok and WeChat from operating in the US if they were not sold by their Chinese-owned parent companies within 45 days.

On Saturday, TikTok announced plans to file a lawsuit against Trump’s executive order.

Reuters exclusively reported on Friday that the app would challenge Trump’s order as early as Monday.

“To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system,” the company said in a statement.

TikTok’s owner ByteDance issued a separate statement on Sunday, saying it will officially file a lawsuit against Trump administration on Monday.

TikTok previously said that it had tried to engage with Washington for nearly a year, but faced “a lack of due process” and that the Trump administration paid no attention to the facts.

Earlier this month, American employees of TikTok also said they were planning to sue the Trump administration over the ban.

The US alleges that “these apps collect significant amounts of private data on users.”

It has long been using national security concerns as an excuse to impose a ban on Chinese communication apps and technologies.”

Washington has already targeted Chinese tech companies, including telecom giant Huawei, over allegations of security threats.

It accuses that Beijing could use the company’s equipment for espionage. Huawei, however, has repeatedly denied those claims.


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