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Trump tells Xi US trade deficit with China 'not sustainable': W.House

© AFP/File | US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping -- shown here at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in November -- talked trade and North Korea in their most recent call

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

US President Donald Trump told Chinese leader Xi Jinping he was disappointed about Washington's deepening trade deficit with Beijing, calling the situation "not sustainable," the White House said Tuesday.

In telephone talks, Trump "expressed disappointment that the United States' trade deficit with China has continued to grow," the White House said in a statement.

"President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable."

According to figures published Friday by China, the US trade deficit with Beijing grew 10 percent in 2017 to $275.8 billion.

During his presidential campaign and since his arrival at the White House, Trump has repeatedly blamed alleged unfair Chinese trading practices for US job losses and accused Beijing of protectionism.

His administration added new import tariffs to a number of Chinese goods last year.

In late December, Trump called economic competitiveness a matter of national security, insisting he would fight for more equitable trade with China.

Washington has opened trade probes into China's alleged dumping of aluminum, and has also lashed out at Beijing over intellectual property issues.

© 2018 AFP