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Trump in new Chinese tariffs threat

Shares in London fell after President Donald Trump made new threats to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods and questioned the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

He said that he feels the US is being taken advantage of on several fronts including trade and monetary policy.

In an interview with CNBC he said: “I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country. We have been ripped off by China for a long time.”

The president says he asked the Chinese government: “How did it happen?” And they told me, ‘Nobody ever complained. Nobody ever talked to us.’”

He says that a Chinese official told him: “There was never anybody to talk to in the United States. We would put on a trade barrier, where you couldn’t sell cars, or you couldn’t sell beef, or you couldn’t sell your farm products.

“We would put it on, and nobody would talk to us in the United States, so we said, ‘Hey, that’s great!’ Then we’d put on another one. We’d put on a tariff on cars – 25% – and you’d charge us virtually nothing – 2.5%. But they don’t pay it. So we would do this and nobody would talk. We’d start off at a lower number. We’d raise it, we’d raise it.

“Nobody would ever complain until you came along.”

After dipping to 7,634 in mid-afternoon trade, the FTSE100 recovered to close just 5.18 points lower at 7,678.79.

Earlier, Mr Trump criticised the Federal Reserve for hiking interest rates.

He said he is “not thrilled” about interest rate rises, upsetting market analysts who said that questioning central bank independence likened the US to a developing country.

Mr Trump added: “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”

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