Rubio: China is out-negotiating Trump right now

Rubio: China is out-negotiating Trump right now
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE (R-Fla.) declared on Tuesday that China appeared to be "out-negotiating" the Trump administration, arguing that Beijing had secured concessions from the U.S. "without giving up anything meaningful in return."

"Sadly #China is out-negotiating the administration & winning the trade talks right now," Rubio tweeted. "They have avoided tariffs & got a #ZTE deal without giving up anything meaningful in return by using N.Korea talks & agriculture issues as leverage. This is #NotWinning."

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The Trump administration backed off threats to impose tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese products after Beijing said it would buy more American agricultural and energy products.

The move came as negotiators from the U.S. and China met in an effort to avert a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies. 

Rubio's tweet also followed reports that Washington and Beijing are nearing a deal to lift a U.S. ban on American companies selling components to Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. 

The U.S. imposed the ban after it was revealed that ZTE had violated at 2017 agreement by shipping American goods to Iran and North Korea. The ban crippled the telecom company, prompting it to announce that it would cease major operations.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a potential deal with ZTE could include China lifting tariffs on U.S. agricultural products that were assessed after Washington announced steep tariffs on imported steel.