Trump's Commerce Secretary contradicts President and insists US won't give up jobs to China for North Korea help

Trump had insisted that he could use trade negotiations as leverage to get China to handle North Korea

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The Independent Online

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said that Donald Trump is not planning on striking a deal with China that would take American jobs away in exchange for the Asian country dealing with North Korea.

Mr Ross made the comments, after Mr Trump had said he was willing to accept a less than ideal trade deal with China if they worked to deescalate tensions between North Korea and the West brought on by nuclear weapons tests. The US is having “constructive discussions” with China on trade, Mr Ross said.

“We’ve been having some very constructive discussions on trade with the Chinese in parallel” to discussions on North Korea," told CNBC. “I think what the president was trying to say is that we’re trying to say is that we’re trying to have an overall constructive relationship with China on a variety of topics, the most pressing of which, because it directly involves human lives, is the North Korea situation. I don’t think he meant to indicate at all that he intends to trade away American jobs just for help on North Korea."

Mr Trump said on Sunday during an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that, “frankly, North Korea is maybe more important than trade”. He continued to say that he may use trade as a method to convince China to use its strong connection to Pyongyang and the regime of Kim Jong-un.

Tensions between North Korea and the US have escalated recently after several nuclear weapons tests were conducted by Mr Kim’s military. The latest, on Saturday, was the eighth since the American president was sworn in and the third in April. That missile failed shortly after launch, just like the two other tests in April, US and South Korean military officials said.

When asked why the North Korean missile tests keep failing, Mr Trump declined to discuss the issue. He said that he doesn’t tend to discuss his military strategy in advance. “It is a chess game. I just don’t want people to know what my thinking is,” he said.