Trump talks China trade with Merkel, Macron

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about pushing back against Chinese trade practices, especially related to intellectual property theft, according to an official White House statement Tuesday.

“The president and the chancellor discussed joining forces to counter Chinas unfair economic practices and illegal acquisition of intellectual property,” the White House said in an official readout of the call, which aimed “to reaffirm the cooperative relationship between” the two countries.

During the call, the two leaders also talked about “leveling the playing field on tariffs,” the statement said.

In a separate call today, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron also discussed “trade practices between the United States and European Union and the next steps in addressing Chinas unfair trade practices,” the White House said in a second statement.

The two calls come after the White House has taken a series of trade actions aimed at punishing China for its intellectual property practices and moved to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The European Union was one of a handful of trading partners for which Trump agreed to delay imposing the steel and aluminum tariffs until May 1, giving them time to agree to take action to address the administrations national security concerns and therefore avoid the duties.

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