Trade rules have changed, says Trump after Asia tour
Says the US has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion
President Donald Trump ended his swing through Asia, hailing progress toward his goal of reducing the US trade deficit.
Trump took off from Manila aboard Air Force One on Tuesday, skipping the final session of meetings hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The trip, which included stops in Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, brought Trump in contact with dozens of leaders, including the heads of Asia’s five biggest economies and a brief encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“After my tour of Asia, all Countries dealing with us on TRADE know that the rules have changed,” Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday. “The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion. The massive TRADE deficits must go down quickly!”
The president spent the bulk of his public appearances emphasising the need to reduce trade deficits, and also pushed for Asian nations to buy US military equipment. He publicly advocated his “America first” policies, warning US trading partners that he was ready to take more protectionist steps in a bid to help American businesses and workers. Trump announced on Twitter that he will be making a “major statement” when he returns to Washington. But while Trump made rhetorical waves during his first visit to the region as president, questions about how much he actually achieved continue to linger. Business deals announced by the president are tentative agreements that may not be fulfilled. And while the president railed against what he viewed as systemic flaws in the US trading relationship with its Asian partners, he neither publicly requested nor received specific assurances to address issues like market access and intellectual property theft.
Instead, the president seemed to relish the efforts by Asian leaders to lavish him with state dinners and ceremonial welcomes.
US President Donald Trump ( centre), National Security Advisor HR McMaster ( left) and State Secretary Rex Tillerson at the 31st ASEAN Summit in the Philippines on Tuesday