President Trump is in Vietnam Friday morning for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit where he told other Apec nations their trade practices have hurt the U.S. unfairly.
“We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore,” Mr. Trump said.
The president came to the annual Asian economic summit complaining the U.S. was a frequent victim in global trade abuses, reports CBS News correspondent Major Garrett.
“I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it,” Mr. Trump said. Despite the president’s kind words during his state visit to China, just 24 hours ago he called them – and other nations – out for cheating on trade deals.
“They ignored the rules to gain advantage of those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself,” he said.
Contrary to the president’s claim that past administrations failed to respond to such abuses, America has filed 124 complaints with the World Trade Organization, more than any other country. The U.S. has been accused of cheating as well, with 143 cases alleging unfair trade practices also more than any other country. With the first lady still in China, visiting pandas and the Great Wall, Mr. Trump promised to be more confrontational with the rival power.
“We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them,” he said.
For now, it appears the most Presidents Trump and Putin will achieve here is a very informal encounter. As the special counsel investigation intensifies in Washington about Russian election meddling or collaboration with the Trump campaign, diplomatic calculations become all the more complex.