Washington: The US is in the process of negotiating trade deals with all the countries which have treated it "very unfairly", President Donald Trump has said, a day after his administration slapped high tariffs on import of solar cells and washing machines from China and South Korea. At an Oval Office event at the White House, he said that several steps taken by his government to protect American businesses and manufacturers were being appreciated by the people and the stock market.
On the recommendation of the independent, bipartisan US International Trade Commission (ITC), Trump on Tuesday gave nod to impose safeguard tariffs on imported residential washing machines and all solar products. "We are in the process of negotiating with other countries also, all of which have treated us very unfairly. We had very poor representation for many years and it has hurt our workers, it has hurt our factories, it has hurt our companies, and that is stopping," Trump said.
"You are seeing what is happening with the stock market. People are appreciating what we are doing. The biggest thing we have done, probably, is regulation, and followed closely behind by the greatest tax cuts in the history of our country. "But I think regulation is on par with that. So a lot of people are watching us," he said.
Trump said that his administration was committed to defend American companies, as they have been very badly hurt from harmful import surges that threaten the livelihood of their workers, of jobs, actually, all over this country -- many different industries. He also directed his US Trade Representative to continue supporting industry discussions to resolve duties on these and similar products in the US and China.
"We support a resolution that is in the interest of American workers and, also, the American consumer. We are going to benefit our consumers, and we are going to create a lot of jobs," he said, adding that his action helps to create jobs in America for Americans. It will provide a strong incentive for LG and Samsung to follow through on their recent promises to build major manufacturing plants for washing machines right here in the United States, he added.
"When we do this, a lot of manufacturers will be coming to the US to build washing machines and also solar. For both solar and washing machines, these executive actions uphold the principle of fair trade and demonstrate to the world that the US will not be taken advantage of anymore. Our companies will not be taken advantage of anymore," Trump said.
The US' move to slap high tariffs on solar panels and washing machines aims to protect the American market badly hit by products from countries like China and South Korea, which reacted sharply.
Terming the tariffs as "excessive" and "regrettable", South Korea said it would complain to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while China, the world's biggest solar panel manufacturer, said the move would further damage the global trade environment.
Trump will today head to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum meeting. "I'm going to Davos. We will be talking about investing in the US again, for people to come in and spend their money in the good old USA," Trump said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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