Trump urged to embrace free trade amid rising tensions

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Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook urged U.S. President Donald Trump to support free-trade policies as a series of tariffs and other actions raise tensions between the U.S. and China.

“Countries that embrace openness, that embrace trade, that embrace diversity are the countries that do exceptionally,” Mr. Cook said during a panel discussion at an economic forum on Saturday.

But he did not mention President Trump’s name in his ‘advice’, says The Journal.

Larry Fink, chief executive of investment firm BlackRock Inc., who also attended the China Development Forum, said the U.S. and China shouldn’t fight a trade war.

“The world needs a strong China and a strong U.S. The world does not need a public fight in which we reduce mutual opportunities,” he said.

The comments from Messrs. Cook and Fink came after the U.S. this week proposed tariffs on as much as $60 billion of Chinese products and tighter restrictions on acquisitions and technology transfers.

A separate, previously announced round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products took effect Friday.

China responded with plans to impose tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods. On Saturday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a phone call that China is ready to defend its national interests, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.