Trump and his allies in Congress have been attacking the United States for years over its trade deals, and in particular its $600 billion-plus trade deficit with China.
Now the Trump administration is looking to impose trade tariffs on goods from Mexico and other Asian countries, and is considering a new trade war.
But a growing number of world leaders, including many of those who benefit from American goods and services, are speaking out against Trump’s approach.
In recent weeks, leaders from Germany, Canada, Japan and South Korea have called for a “zero-sum” approach to the current trade war, in which the United Kingdom, Germany and others are taking aim at one another.
It’s not the first time leaders have raised concerns about the growing Trump trade offensive, but it has become the most visible.
The Trump administration, led by Trump himself, is targeting China over trade, but this time, it’s not just trade.
It is also about global governance.
It’s the latest in a series of moves to bolster Trump’s credentials as a leader, with the president taking steps to distance himself from a former reality TV star, and to distance his administration from the president who is also trying to create a more united world.
It was Trump’s first foreign trip in eight months, and it was the first to be attended by a world leader who has publicly attacked the U.S. leader of the free world.
It was also his first foreign visit since his inauguration, and a chance to reassure allies who are uneasy with Trump’s new administration’s policies and intentions.
Trump is calling the trade war a “game” and a “win-win” for both countries, with Germany, a country that has seen a massive spike in trade with China since he took office, praising Trump’s leadership, and Canada, which is concerned about the impact of the trade restrictions on its dairy sector.
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believes “Trump is trying to push the world towards a global economy that is competitive, that is fair and that has strong institutions.”
She added that “this kind of trade war is not just a game between us, but also the world.”
Canada has been closely watching the trade talks between Trump and Xi Jinping, China’s leader.
It has said the two countries could have a “good” relationship in areas such as auto safety and the environment.
It is not the only country to call for an end to the trade conflict.
Canada has also said it is “deeply concerned” about Trump’s proposed trade tariffs.
Germany, Japan, South Korea and China all signed a new “trilateral trade agreement” with Trump in March, and the agreement has been praised by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.
Trump, however, has taken a more confrontational approach to China.
He has threatened to slap a 25% tariff on imports from China, which has already slapped an 11% tariff at the United Nations, and he has called on countries to “do more to protect our interests” in the region.