Donald Trump, who is in Vietnam as part of his Asia tour, praised India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Trump lauded India’s economic growth despite its over one billion people.
“Since India opened its economy it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class, and PM Modi has been working to bring that vast country and all of its people together as one, and he’s working at it very, very successfully indeed,” said Trump at the summit.
At the same summit Trump also spoke out against unfair trade practices, in a veiled reference to China.
“We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first,” said Trump a day after signing 250 bn worth deals with China.
Without singling out China by name, Trump argued that the US had adhered to World Trade Organization principles, only to be taken advantage of by counties that had ignored the rules and engaged in harmful practices such as product dumping, currency manipulation and government subsidising of goods.
“Such practices, along with our collective failure to respond to them, hurt many people in our country,” Trump said. Trump explained how “jobs, factories and industries” were stripped out of the United States as a result.
“We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them,” Trump addded.
Trump said that China’s trade surplus, which stood at USD 223 billion for the first 10 months of the year, was unacceptable, but he also said he did “not blame China” or any other country “for taking advantage of the United States on trade.”
He also categorically said that he would not turn a blind eye to the violations.
“We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access. We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business, all the time,” he threatened.
In his speech Trump also slammed North Korea and its nuclear missile tests, calling for united action against the nation.
(With inputs from agencies)