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Donald Trump says could 'decouple' and not do business with China

US  President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia, US. (REUTERS)Premium
US President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia, US. (REUTERS)

  • Donald Trump entered into a high-stakes trade war with China before reaching a partial Phase 1 trade deal in January.
  • Donald Trump has since shut the door on Phase 2 negotiations, saying he was unhappy with Beijing's handling of the pandemic

WASHINGTON : U.S. President Donald Trump, in a Fox News interview airing Sunday, raised the possibility of decoupling the U.S. economy from China, a major purchaser of U.S. goods.

In a video excerpt, Trump initially told interviewer Steve Hilton "we don't have to" do business with China, and then later said about decoupling: "Well it's something that if they don't treat us right I would certainly, I would certainly do that."

Trump entered into a high-stakes trade war with China before reaching a partial Phase 1 trade deal in January. Trump has since shut the door on Phase 2 negotiations, saying he was unhappy with Beijing's handling of the pandemic.

In June U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies will result if U.S. companies are not allowed to compete on a fair and level basis in China's economy.

Meanwhile, TikTok said on Saturday it plans to file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's executive order that prohibits transactions with the popular short video app and its Chinese parent ByteDance, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

Reuters exclusively reported on Friday that TikTok would challenge Trump's executive order as early as Monday.

TikTok in a statement said that it had tried to engage with the U.S administration for nearly a year, but faced "a lack of due process" and that the government paid no attention to the facts.

"To ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly, we have no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system," the company spokesperson said.

Trump issued an executive order on Aug. 14 that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok. ByteDance has been making progress in talks with potential acquirers, including Microsoft Corp and Oracle. Some of ByteDance's U.S. investors could also join the winning bid.

While TikTok is best known for its anodyne videos of people dancing and going viral among teenagers, U.S. officials have expressed concerns that information on users could be passed on to China's government.

A representative for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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