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Business  

Trump optimistic on tour

President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the "very one-sided and unfair" trade relationship between the U.S. and China, but stopped short of castigating Chinese President Xi Jinping by saying he doesn't blame the country for having taken advantage of the U.S.

Speaking after the announcement of new business deals between U.S. and Chinese companies, Trump said China "must immediately address the unfair trade practices that drive" what he said is "shockingly" large trade deficit, along with barriers to market access, forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft.

"But I don't blame China," he said. "After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?"

To applause, Trump said: "I give China great credit."

Trump's comments came during his second day in China and after lengthy meetings with Xi. The day included announcements that the U.S. and China had signed agreements valued at more than $250 billion for products including U.S.-made jet engines, auto parts, liquefied natural gas and beef.

Trump had made narrowing the multibillion-dollar U.S. trade deficit with China a priority for his administration. During the presidential campaign, he accused China of "raping our country" on trade and pledged to minimize the countries' trade imbalance.

China's trade surplus with the United States in October widened by 12.2 per cent from a year earlier, to $26.6 billion, according to Chinese customs data released Wednesday. The total surplus with the United States for the first 10 months of the year rose to $223 billion.



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