Trade, N Korea pose challenges as Trump prepares to meet Xi
Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China and rebuild the country’s manufacturing base.
US President Donald Trump holds his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday facing pressure to deliver trade concessions for some of his most fervent supporters and prevent a crisis with North Korea from spiraling out of control. The leaders of the world's two biggest economies are to greet each other at the president's Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, late in the afternoon and dine together with their wives, kicking off a summit that will conclude with a working lunch on Friday.
Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to stop what he called the theft of American jobs by China and rebuild the country's manufacturing base. Many blue-collar workers helped propel him to his unexpected election victory on Nov. 8 and Trump wants to deliver for them. The Republican president tweeted last week that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses and that his meeting with Xi "will be a very difficult one." US labor leaders say Trump needs to take a direct, unambiguous tone in his talks with Xi. International Association of Machinists President Robert Martinez said the US continued to lose manufacturing jobs to the Chinese, saying: "It's time to bring our jobs home now."
The most urgent problem facing Trump and Xi is how to persuade nuclear-armed N Korea to halt unpredictable behavior like missile test launches that have heightened tensions in South Korea and Japan. N Korea is working to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the US. Trump has threatened to use trade to try to force China to exert influence over Pyongyang.
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