Donald Trump: US-China trade deal 'too hard to get done'

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ZTE's future is in Trump's hands. Scary huh

In return, China would eliminate tariffs on USA agriculture or agree to buy more farm products from the United States.

But the agreement - which contained no specifics - drew fire from those who had supported Mr Trump's campaign pledge to crack down on what they call China's abusive commercial trade practices.

China-U.S. economic ties are highly complementary and bilateral trade has great potential, the ministry said in a press release in response to media reports which quoted U.S. government officials as saying that China would significantly increase imports of U.S. agricultural and energy products.

So, say these titans of the global business press, current White House trade policy really means the United States is willing to trade its sovereignty and dignity to China, a nation who sells intellectual property stolen from us to our enemies, in order to "dodge tariff retaliation on the U.S. Farm Belt" that our Tweeter-in-Chief begged for - and got - with his earlier, "misguided" steel tariffs. In response, Beijing vowed to retaliate against United States exports to China with a matching value.

As if that wasn't enough, Congress appears to be united against Trump on this - both sides of the house have expressed the wish that no deal is done and that the ZTE ban remains in place.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said he thought China had gotten the upper hand in recent negotiations on trade and North Korea denuclearization.

The Commerce Department announced April 16 that the company would be cut off from its US suppliers, crippling its business, for what Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called "egregious" violations of USA sanctions. "This was merely President Xi asking President Trump to look into this, which he's done".

Trump said he could "envision" a "very large fine" of up to $1.3 billion imposed on the company plus a requirement to appoint a new board of directors. It has led some Senators to question whether Trump is trading national security for butter.

Asked about the company, he said there is no deal yet with China - but it was not clear whether he was speaking specifically about ZTE or about broader trade disputes. A scheduled Ross appearance early Wednesday at a Heritage Foundation trade event in Washington was canceled, organizers said. Concern about harming negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program, in which China plays a pivotal role as the isolated nation's closest ally, has also factored in Trump's decision to hold off on tariffs.

In the face of congressional criticism, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday denied that the offering relief for ZTE in exchange for trade concessions.

Bloomberg's Terrence Dopp contributed.

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