Donald Trump threatens China sanctions, vows to rework South Korea trade deal


He said he will push for a reciprocal tax on imports from countries that take advantage of the US.

Trump also discussed the about 200 investigations that he had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to look into concerning trade deficits and steel and aluminum "dumping".

He also described the United States as China's "piggy bank". But they have faced opposition from a broad array of industries that argue tariffs could hurt their ability to compete and cost more jobs than they would save.

Taking aim at Seoul, Trump complained that America's 2012 free trade deal with South Korea "was a disaster", vowing the United States would renegotiate a "fair deal" or scrap it altogether.

The President is considering using Section 232 of the US trade law that restricts steel and aluminum imports to protect national security. "Because the difference is we want to help DACA, you don't", Trump said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program now being debated by Congress.

The Commerce Department formally submitted the results of its investigations into steel and aluminum imports to the White House in January. File photo: White house.

Trump was presented last month with two Commerce Department reports concerning alleged Chinese subsidies for steel and aluminum exports, whose findings had not been made public.

Last year China imported 3.2 million tonnes of the chemical worth more than US$4 billion from the US.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat at the meeting, said afterward that Trump "seems to understand the enforcement challenge".

Trump said on Monday that he would soon announce a "reciprocal tax"-a tax on imports from other countries at the same rates those countries impose on USA products".

Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, suggested that the president focus specifically on countries that have unfair trading practices.

"I actually think that we can go bipartisan on infrastructure, maybe even more so than we can on DACA. What we are talking about is tariffs and or quotas". "And the agreements basically stayed the way they were and they became very wealthy and they could pay a tremendous amount and they could pay us back, but nothing happened".

A House Republican proposal to tax imports, known as the border-adjusted tax, was removed from tax revamp plans after facing intense opposition from import-heavy industries such as retailers, and a cool reception from Senate lawmakers.