Donald Trump threatens China sanctions, vows to rework South Korea trade deal

Donald Trump threatens China sanctions, vows to rework South Korea trade deal

The president has promised to bring back the steel mills throughout the Midwest, that closed down due to an influx of cheap, foreign materials.

Trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies rose again on Tuesday as Beijing accused Washington of "excessive protectionism" after targeting imports of a key chemical from the United States.

Accusing Beijing of decimating American steel and aluminum industries, Trump said he was "considering all options", including tariffs and quotas. He's considering taking action against the country, after a Commerce Department investigation earlier this year.

That pushback, which has garnered the sympathy of many pro-trade Republicans, appears to have turned a trade action that the White House initially viewed as relatively straightforward into a more extended affair. "I want to keep prices down but I also want to make sure that we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry and we do need that for national defense. They were the giants, and now they're hanging on for their life". The President and lawmakers like Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown blame China for driving prices down, by flooding the market with cheap steel.

The associations said that their member companies employed more than one million Americans, compared with just 80,000 jobs in basic steel production.

Meanwhile the ministry said on Monday that it had uncovered instances of styrene dumping by US and South Korean manufacturers in an initial ruling of an ongoing trade investigation into the chemical.

Trump's meeting with the four Democrats and 15 Republicans led off with discussion of his administration's investigation of steel and aluminum imports.

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Complaining about some countries charging "50 and 75 percent" taxes on goods from the United States, Trump stressed he can not tolerate such "unfair" tariffs.

But several lawmakers including Congressman Larry Bucshon, (R) IN, urged the President to use caution.

In 2017, the U.S. trade deficit in goods rose to its highest level in 9 years.

The lawmakers say they want the president to carefully target his actions to avoid causing increases in the price of steel and aluminum, which could drive up costs in other industries, like auto manufacturing.

But Trump also said he "wants to hear from both sides before making a trade decision". "We're telling the President you've got to enforce the rules in a way that the playing field is level".

Trump made the comments in a meeting of bipartisan senators and representatives at the White House.

Reporters were allowed to observe almost an hour of the meeting, in which lawmakers in Trump's own party openly challenged his positions on trade.

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