The USTR accused China of using state incentives, subsidies and tariffs to increase production and said manufacturers had evaded US tariffs by repeatedly shifting production to new countries.
Despite Trump's praise, The Journal notes that, though some some steelmakers are expanding production in the US, other USA manufacturers are still dependent on imported metals.
He also brought up one of his past greatest hits, tariffs, writing that the United States was "built on Tariffs, and Tariffs are now leading us to great new Trade Deals" (capitalization his, not ours).
But in the last month, China's currency has once again become a target for Mr. Trump. Mexico's economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, said the tariffs will affect some 3 billion dollars in value terms. On the same day, Turkey's imposition of tariffs on 266.5 million dollars of USA goods took effect.
In their technology dispute, Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods it said benefit from improper industrial policies.
On June 22, the European Union levied duties of 25 percent on 2.8 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars) of USA imports in retaliation of Washington's steel and aluminum tariffs.
"President Trump has only imposed tariffs".
On Aug. 1, Trump called for raising the proposed tariff on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, adding the implementation is pending a public comment process ending on September 5.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Beijing viewed USA trade moves as an abuse of safeguards that "severely damaged" Chinese trade interests. There is division and confusion over how China should respond to Trump, with some arguing that Beijing should strike back at American interests but others saying they didn't know what could be done.