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Schumer blasts Trump for shifting blame away from China on trade

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday blasted President Trump for his remarks in China blaming the policies of past presidents instead of Beijing for the massive trade deficit between the two countries.

Schumer said Trump is taking a much weaker stance against China's trade practices than he did during the campaign and through most of his first year in the White House.

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“The president may not blame China, but I do, and so do millions of Americans who voted for him and others who have lost their jobs at the hands of China’s rapacious trade policies,” Schumer said in response to Trump’s remarks in Beijing.

“After campaigning like a lion against China’s trade practices, the president is governing like a lamb,” he said.

“Rather than treating China with kid gloves, the president should be much tougher with China — as he promised he would be on the campaign trail."

Trump hit China on the trade deficit but said he didn’t blame Beijing and instead shifted the responsibility to previous administrations for failing to crack down on China amid widening trade gaps.

"After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens,” Trump said while standing next to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

“I give China great credit, but in actuality I do blame past administrations for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place," Trump said.

During his five-nation tour across Asia, the president has promoted business deals in Japan, South Korea and China as ways to help lower trade deficits with major trading partners across the Pacific Rim.

The trading relationship "between China and the U.S. has not been a very fair one; as we all know, America has a huge annual trade deficit with China, a number beyond anything that anyone would understand," Trump said.

"Both the United States and China will have a more prosperous future if we can achieve a more level playing field."

Trump has consistently talked tough against China, especially on trade. He has said he would immediately label China a currency manipulator after taking office, but that never happened.