In APEC Speech, Trump Slams China, WTO And TPP For Holding Back His "Indo-Pacific Dream"

Trump may have sensed that he appeared too conciliatory towards President Xi and China during his visit to Beijing, and so shortly after doubling down on his parting message to China by tweeting that "I don’t blame China, I blame the incompetence of past Admins for allowing China to take advantage of the U.S. on trade leading up to a point where the U.S. is losing $100's of billions. How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue? I would've done same!"...

... which prompted countless snarky comments from the blue-check gallery, Trump arrived in Vietnam where he immediately spoke at the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit; here the US president went back to his  "roots" of harshly criticizing China, its state-owned enterprises, all manner of anti-competitive practices by the Middle Kingdom, the WTO and the TPP. Trump also added that the United States will no longer tolerate the abuses and, while previous administrations have done nothing about them, he will.

In summary, Trump:

  • Slammed China for the unacceptable trade deficit, lack of market access, government-run industrial planning, currency manipulation and other abuses for gaining economic advantage;
  • Slammed China’s subsidised state-owned enterprises which carry out the government’s predatory industrial policy and put private competitors out of business;
  • Slammed China for forcing companies to surrender technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures to gain market access;
  • Slammed the WTO for unfairly treating the US and allowing countries, notably China, to break the rules;
  • Slammed the TPP (without naming it directly) which would tie America’s hands, remove its sovereignty and prevent the enforcement of WTO rules;
  • Will make bilateral trade agreements with Indo-Pacific nations; and
  • Stated that economic security is national security.

While Trump’s speech was greeted with a standing ovation, we suspect it was less well received by his new “friends” in Beijing.

Here is the key part of Trump’s speech regarding trade.

We seek robust trade relationships rooted in principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the US enters into trade relationships, from now on we will expect our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides and private industry, not government planners, will direct investment. It’s been unfair for too long and in too many places. The US systematically opened our economy with few conditions. We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country. But while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us. Countries were embraced by the WTO even if they didn’t abide by its stated principles. Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the WTO. Organisations like the WTO can only function properly when all countries follow the rules and respect the sovereign rights of every member. We cannot achieve open markets if we do not ensure fair market access. In the end, unfair trade undermines us all.


The US promoted private enterprise, innovation and industry. Other countries use government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises. We adhere to WTO in protecting intellectual property and ensuring fair and equal market access. They engaged in product dumping, subsidised goods, currency manipulation and predatory industrial policies. They ignored the rules to gain advantages over those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself. Such practices, along with our collective failure to respond to them, hurt many people in our country and also in other countries. Jobs, factories and industries were stripped out of the United States and out of many countries in addition.


We can no longer tolerate the abuses and we will not tolerate them. Despite years of broken promises, we were told someday soon everyone will behave fairly and responsibly. People throughout America and the Indo-Pacific region have waited for that day to come, but it never has and that is why I am here today. To speak frankly about the challenges and work towards a brighter future for all of us. I recently had an excellent trip to China where I spoke openly and directly to President Xi about China’s unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States. I expressed our strong desire to work with China to achieve a trading relationship that is conducted on a truly fair and equal basis. The current trade imbalance is not acceptable. I do not blame China or any other country for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will.


From this day forward, will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of any more. I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. The US is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce that is in the interest of both your countries and mine. That is the message I am here to deliver. I will make bilateral agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and will abide by the principles of free and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that will tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible. Instead we will deal on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. We will respect your independence and sovereignty, we want you to strong prosperous and self-reliant, rooted in your history and branching out towards the future. That is how we will grow together, in partnerships of real and lasting value. 


But for this, and I call it the Indo-Pacific dream, if it’s going to be realised, we must ensure that all play by the rules, which they do not right now. Those who do will be our closest partners, those who do not can be certain that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression. Those days are over. We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access. We will address the massive subsiding of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of businesses.  We will not remain silent as American companies are targeted by state-affiliated actors for economic gain, whether through cyber-attack, corporate espionage or other anti-competitive practice…The US has been reminded time and time again in recent years that economic security is not related to national security. Economic security is national security. It is vital to our national security.

He concluded with…

“God bless the Pacific region, God bless the United States of America.

… which the locals seemed to particularly enjoy.


ludwigvmises Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:17 Permalink

If we want to compete with China or Europe or Japan or Korea we'd need a competitive industry. Which we don't have. Trump talks a lot but he can't change the fact that our workers and engineers are simply less educated and less motivated than our global competitors. US student scores in mathematics and science (PISA) lag badly behind Asian countries. You can't out-compete your economic opponents with a mediocre workforce.

ne-tiger D.T.Barnum Fri, 11/10/2017 - 07:04 Permalink

One thing I'm really pissed is WTF our fed tax is used for? In China for example, there's no property tax and the government still provides free basic education, low priced college and reasonable medical coverage. But here in our dear US of A, you need heavy local propety tax to cover k-12. Then for college and health care, you are basically fucked with out of reach price. Where's my fed. tax go? Guess war is good, right? Fuck all the warmongers here!

In reply to by D.T.Barnum

rtalcott wafm Fri, 11/10/2017 - 07:58 Permalink

NASA peaked around Apollo...right now it's another government run (poorly managed) organization with way too much bad management...if the IP is as poorly written up and developed as what is coming out of the national labs it's mostly worthles...if like the national labs patents are mostly US only or provisional then the IP is not worth much either...

In reply to by wafm

Mustafa Kemal Obsidian Samctum Fri, 11/10/2017 - 08:36 Permalink

"Asians can score on tests, but they lack creativity and ingenuity."Nonsense.In the last decade, the chinese have gone from almost nothing to almost dominating many of the mathematical journal publications. The papers I have read seemed quite creative and sometimes ingenious. But the point being a few decades ago the authors lists in the journals was like Jones, MacKay, Smith ... and now its Zhang, Liu, Wang and Wat de Fuk  You dont fix that with muscle and bravado Donald, you fix it with investment.Hey Donald, why dont we just take some of that MIC bill and use it on Americans? We would even have enough left over to spread around the globe. Could actually rebuild the ME. They deserve it, so do we.

In reply to by Obsidian Samctum

indygo55 ludwigvmises Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:31 Permalink

"US student scores in mathematics and science (PISA) lag badly behind Asian countries. "And why is that? How did that happen when our goverment is so involved in the education system? Incompetence? Or intentional degrading of the majority of the nations children who attend public schools? This happened right under their noses and OUR noses at the same time. There is a larger agenda here and its been there for a very long time. Parents need to get involved rather then ignoring this and expecting the goverment to make it right. That ain't never gonna happen. 

In reply to by ludwigvmises

desirdavenir indygo55 Fri, 11/10/2017 - 09:27 Permalink

tv and social networks certainly have a lot to do with the dumbing down of children. Also, what do you think happens to a child's mind after 2h of corporate competition to grab his attention by every legal means ? That this child can still pay attention for the rest of the day at school ? Ditto for a child who doesn't sleep enough. No time for paying attention at school. Corporations decided to sacrifice long term education for short term advert-based gains, and irresponsible citizens let them do it. No other agenda, here, just lack of regulation.

In reply to by indygo55

css1971 ludwigvmises Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:35 Permalink

You can't out-compete your economic opponents with a mediocre workforce.

That's exactly what the Chinese did for 30 years. It's all about price. Fact of the matter is, the US is suffering from the Triffin Dilemma.

later in the 1960s, it was rediscovered in the context of the Bretton Woods system by Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin, who pointed out that the country whose currency, being the global reserve currency, foreign nations wish to hold, must be willing to supply the world with an extra supply of its currency to fulfill world demand for these foreign exchange reserves, thus leading to a trade deficit.

Or put another way, The Dollar makes Americans expensive. In order to compete internationally, the US has to give up The Dollar as world reserve currency. And that isn't going to happen voluntarily.The Dollar is what finances The American Empire. The enormous military etc. Trump isn't going to be able to change it. The only thing which will is total collapse. These things always run until they physically can't anymore.

In reply to by ludwigvmises

veritas semper… ludwigvmises Fri, 11/10/2017 - 13:27 Permalink

Let's see what we have and what China and allies have:On our side:-as you said,uneducated,entitled ,obese,walking land hippopotamuses,interested only in noise they call music,pornography and violence they call movies,Iphones where they  text about their dog/cat,showing selfies and what they had for breakfast,who have not read a book in their whole life,who do not know what real art is.Look how they talk,walk and dress!You can not call them humans anymore.And they are the majority of the adults and basicaly ALL of the young population.-no manufacturing base(moved by greedy corporations out of the country.This is not coming back so easily.The factories were destroyed,people lost skills)-economy made of shoveling paper,extracting rent and from a shrinking middle class crushed from the top by the 0.01% that stole anything of value and from the bottom by an increasing mass of very poor people that need to be supported by all means. FIRE economy and war economy,which fattens MIC et comp and destroys the nation-huge debt(personal,national,of the corporations,unfanded liabilities) ;said to be 160-200 Trillion $-huge trade deficit: 600 Billion every year-96 million people NOT in the workforce that they don't count,as if they don't exist-49-50 million on food stamps-more than 50% of the population receiving one form or another of federal/state help-decaying infrastructure,a shame really-a lying,dishonest press(MSM),presstitutes-an entertainment industry promoting SATANISM(look at a music video,a fashion show,any Hollywood movie promotion:ALL displaying the one eye sign and Satanic,Masonic symbols.They are on the dollar bill,look closely.The Statue of Liberty is a Masonic one(Libertas,or Babylonian Ishtar,Egyptian ISIS,the Goddess of liberty,personal freedom,from which derived immigration,war and prostitution,also named THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.Does it ring a bell?)They promote depravity,prostitution,violence,destruction of the family,multi gender culture. Their GOD,Satan,is a ONE EYE GOD,blind in the right eye(mentioned in the Koran too,Dajjal) and he is a hermaphrodite,with both female and male sex organs(Baphomet).Did you see how Madonna dressed like Baphomet? Plus they like to mock and desecrate Christian symbols,values.And people swallow all of this crap without any protest-the killing of babies(500,000 Mil abortions and counting)-all the power,all the wealth concentrated in a few (mostly Kosher hands)-NO GOLD-"money" not backed by anything,only war,destruction-no vision for the future(sorry,political demagogy does not count)China:-they have a plan for the future,a vision of trade beneficial for everybody,construction of infrastructure and production of wealth,relations with other countries based on trade-GOLD(it is said they have 30,000 -35,000 tons of GOLD)-an alliance with Russia based on mutual benefits( and Russia has huge,untapped natural resources and GOLD)-an educated population,who was lifted out of poverty ,and they have gold too.And they are many,1.3 Bil--they are the world manufacturing power now-they have debt,but it is INTERNALLY OWNED-they have created almost all alternative financial institution to the western crooked ones,but the death of the petrodollar will come THROUGH TRADE first,then financially-they are not permitting mongreling and destroying of their culture and race like the White Americans /Europeans do-they have some problems from the one child policies,but they are correcting thatDid I cover everything? Probably notBut who do you think will win this?(I'm not talking war,as this will not be won by anybody)Sorry for the long post

In reply to by ludwigvmises

Infinite QE Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:26 Permalink

Compete with what? A drugged and obsese populace who are barely functioning from home to pharma outlet. Seriously. The nation needs at least one generation to purge the evil from itself.And by Monday morning, the GS globalists in the WH will have unwound all of Trump's tough talk.

overmedicatedu… Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:30 Permalink

Lludwig:as a leader your job is to motivate and be optimistic..what don't you understand about that??he is one man speaking alot of truth, when for decades we have had lying self dealing fools for presidents, who have made tragic errors time and again, while getting $500,000 speaking fees from other nations, and none(msm) dare call them support of your comments,,in baltimore 13 high schools have no students (0) who passed basic math tests..mediocre is not the word for that. tragic.

BritBob Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:29 Permalink

Xi has his own friends and separate agenda...China – Argentina – the FalklandsIn tune with Macri's words, Xi Jinping thanked Argentina "the support they have given us for our claim of a single China as we support theirs for the Falkland Islands."  (Telam 17 May 2017)Suppose China didn't take territory in the 19th century? Google: ''Falkland Islands – The Usurpation'' (1 pg) to see why Xi's supporting a lame duck. 

gunzeon Fri, 11/10/2017 - 06:34 Permalink

somebody needs to tell him that: - in America businesses run the government - in China the government runs the businesses addendum: many thanks to John Pilger for that line