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Trump threatens to expand his trade war by slapping tariffs on Vietnam



President Donald Trump is in the middle of a trade war with China, with the administration having levied a tariff of 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Both sides are locked in negotiations to end the dispute, which has lasted for over a year. Now Trump may be getting ready to open a new front against one of China’s neighbors: Vietnam.

During an interview on Wednesday with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Trump hinted he might impose tariffs on Vietnam, which has benefited from the US-China trade dispute.

Read more: US and Chinese consumers are ‘unequivocally the losers’ of trade war tariffs — here are the unexpected winners

“A lot of companies are moving to Vietnam, but Vietnam takes advantage of us even worse than China. So there’s a very interesting situation going on there,” Trump said.

When Bartiromo asked Trump whether he planned to impose tariffs on China, Trump didn’t directly answer the question, saying, “We’re in discussions with Vietnam.” He went on to describe Vietnam as “the single worst abuser of everybody” and vowed to increase tariffs on China again if a trade deal isn’t reached.

Read more: It’s been more than a year since the US-China trade war started. Here’s a timeline of everything that’s happened so far.

During the February summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Hanoi, Trump praised Vietnam’s attempt at reducing the trade imbalance. Vietnamese airline carriers made deals to purchase jets and other equipment worth $20 billion, Politico reported.

Vietnam is a major American trading partner in Asia. Bilateral trade between both countries has substantially increased since diplomatic relations were restored in 1995, two decades after the end of the Vietnam War.

In 2017, US trade with Vietnam amounted to $58.2 billion, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. The top US exports to Vietnam are cotton, computer chips and soy beans while the US is biggest destination for Vietnamese goods. They include textiles and electronics.

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