US Democrats in presidential debate hint at no swift end to China tariffs

US Democrats in presidential debate hint at no swift end to China tariffs
# 13 September 2019 12:05 (UTC +04:00)

Democratic presidential hopefuls criticized President Donald Trump’s trade war with China but gave no hint they would work toward a quick resolution if elected, pledging during their debate on Thursday to hold Beijing accountable for “corrupt” practices, APA reports citing Reuters.

None of the top nine Democrats asked about the issue in the debate in Houston said they would move quickly to repeal the wide-ranging tariffs Trump has put in place on Chinese imports, even as they accused the Republican president of “bankrupting” the U.S. economy with damaging tariffs on farmers and businesses.

Instead, the candidates seeking their party’s nomination to take on Trump in the November 2020 election, said they would continue negotiations and make further demands on China, including its handling of protests in Hong Kong, its use of intellectual property, and labor standards.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg mocked Trump for failing so far to strike a deal.

“You know, when I first got into this race, I remember President Trump scoffed and said he’d like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I’d like to see him making a deal with Xi Jinping,” he said to laughter.

He added his own strategy “would include the tariffs as leverage,” without offering specifics.

In a Democratic race that has been dominated by discussions of domestic issues like healthcare, guns and immigration, the party’s third debate featured the most lengthy discussion yet about foreign policy issues like China, troop levels in Afghanistan and relations with Venezuela.

“He has put us in the middle of this trade war and he is treating our farmers and our workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos,” U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said.