President Trump pressed China on Monday over its growing trade deficit with the U.S., telling Chinese President Xi Jinping the trade relationship between their countries "is not sustainable," the White House announced on Tuesday.
"The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow," the White House said in a statement about the phone call. "President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable."
Trump has long gone after China for what he describes as unfair trade practices, including currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.
But he has refrained from taking substantive measures against China in part because his strategy toward North Korea has focused on getting China to use its leverage with Pyongyang to encourage denuclearization. Trade between China and North Korea fell last year, a fact the Trump administration recently praised.
Trump and Xi also discussed the situation with North Korea during their phone call on Monday.
"President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior," the White House said in a statement about the phone call. "President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization."
Leaders from North and South Korea opened a dialogue earlier this month ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, where North Korea will be sending an athletic delegation. The countries have hoped to ease tensions before thousands of athletes and fans from around the world descend on the peninsula in just weeks.