A container ship sits docked at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida, U.S. (Photographer: Mark Elias/Bloomberg)

Trump Asks China for Plan to Cut $100 Billion Off U.S. Trade Gap

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration asked China for a plan to cut the annual U.S. trade deficit with the nation by $100 billion, a reduction of more than 25 percent from last year’s gap, a White House official said.

The U.S. trade shortfall in goods with China surged 8.1 percent during the first year of Trump’s presidency, reaching a record $375 billion, according to Commerce Department data released last month.

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Wednesday that China had been asked for a $1 billion reduction in the trade deficit, understating the demand by a factor of 100. The larger request was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

Trump has repeatedly complained about America’s trade deficit with China, expressing his disappointment with the growing shortfall in a recent phone call with President Xi Jinping. The U.S. president has threatened a host of actions to constrain China, including tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum he plans to announce Thursday.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.