President Donald Trump turned up pressure on China over trade talks, as he celebrated a stock-market milestone and was expected to announce he won’t pursue efforts to get a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census.
Trump said China is “letting us down” by not buying the U.S. farm products “that they said they would,” in a tweet that came after a report the administration is increasingly worried over the prospects for a trade deal with Beijing.
At last month’s G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, Trump said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to order large new purchases of U.S. agricultural goods “almost immediately.” Trump added in his tweet, “Hopefully they will start soon!”
U.S. stocks pared gains after the president’s morning tweet, but a rally in health-care stocks pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.85% past 27,000 for the first time after the Trump White House abandoned a plan to curb drug rebates. Trump celebrated the Dow’s milestone in a separate tweet.
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Administration officials told The Wall Street Journal Trump is expected to say at a White House news conference that he won’t move forward with a push on the citizenship question. Instead, the president will address next steps for obtaining the information through other means.
As the Journal wrote, the announcement would mark a concession by the president, who insisted last week that all possibilities including an executive order were still being explored. Administration lawyers advised the White House that it wouldn’t be legally feasible to add the citizenship question to the census in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling, the Journal reported.
The president also convened a “Social-Media Summit” at the White House Thursday, to which industry heavyweights like Facebook FB, -0.74% and Twitter TWTR, -0.69% were not invited.
Trump, a frequent Twitter user himself, said on his own account that a key subject of the event would be “the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies. We will not let them get away with it much longer.”
Addressing a crowd of about 200 in the East Room of the White House, Trump said some of the attendees were “extraordinary.” He added, “the crap you think of is unbelievable.”
Conservatives have frequently complained that their views are being censored by major social-media outlets. The companies have denied allegations of bias. Trump’s summit reportedly included the chief executive of Parler, a Twitter alternative used by Trump supporters, and self-proclaimed “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe.
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