U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday again called for better trade terms with the European Union and Canada, while saying the United States needs greater trade balance with China.
“I want the barriers taken down, I want our farmers to be able to trade,” he told a crowd of supporters in South Carolina after citing what he said were high costs of farm exports to the European Union and Canada. “I want to be able to sell cars there just like they sell cars and it’s all going to work out.”
Since he began campaigning for president, Trump has sought to put U.S. trade interests first, including working to negotiate new trade deals with some of the country’s largest economic partners. That has included talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, as well as separate efforts to alter existing relationships with the European nations.
China has been the recipient of some of Trump’s strongest words as his administration demanded changes to address the longstanding gap in trade between the two countries. Those talks have brought threats from both sides of new tariffs that have also helped shake financial markets fearing a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
“They might not be helping us anymore and that would be too bad,” Trump said Monday. “I’ve been as nice as I can as long as I can, but we got to get some balance and it doesn’t have to be perfect, but there’s got to be some fairness.”
U.S. and European markets fell Monday as speculation over trade wars deepened worries across the globe.
U.S. stocks fell more than one percent at the end of the day, while European markets were down even more.
Losses were widespread but technology stocks suffered the most, dropping more than two percent in its biggest one-day decline since April.
The United States is scheduled to start raising taxes on more than $30 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks after Trump announced plans for the tariffs based on what he said were national security concerns. China has promised to retaliate immediately, putting the world’s two largest economies at odds.
On Sunday, Trump issued a warning to U.S. trading partners that unless they remove restrictions placed on American goods, they will face “more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A.”
“The United States is insisting that all countries that have placed artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country, remove those Barriers & Tariffs or be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!” Trump tweeted.
Trump has already annoyed major U.S. trading partners, including China, Canada, Mexico, the EU and India, by imposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products from those countries.