Trump pans ‘the always used National Security excuse’ for trade restrictions

This morning, Donald Trump tweeted his dissent to… the way that his own administration has justified steel tariffs (on national security grounds), as well as, apparently, to the administration’s tentative plans to ban the sale of GE jet engines to China.

The United States cannot, & will not, become such a difficult place to deal with in terms of foreign countries buying our product, including for the always used National Security excuse, that our companies will be forced to leave in order to remain competitive. We want to sell…

….product and goods to China and other countries. That’s what trade is all about. We don’t want to make it impossible to do business with us. That will only mean that orders will go to someplace else. As an example, I want China to buy our jet engines, the best in the World….

It is another reminder that Trump does not consistently align with the hawkish side of Washington, D.C., and the second strong hint this month that Trump does not appear set to use China bashing as a central theme in his reelection campaign the way that he did in 2016.

Meanwhile, China announced tariff exemptions for “nearly 700 types of goods from the United States, including farm and energy products, as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak,” per the SCMP. This may reduce the possibility that the coronavirus could break the phase one trade deal.

—Lucas Niewenhuis