'I won't let US be taken advantage of anymore on trade': Trump's sharp rebuke to China

Danang, Vietnam: President Donald Trump has warned the United States will no longer tolerate "chronic trade abuses" and would insist on fair and equal trade policies in a defiant speech to Pacific Rim countries in Vietnam.

Delivering the keynote speech at the 21-nation Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit, Mr Trump said he won't allow the US to be "taken advantage of anymore."

He vowed to correct the US's huge trade imbalance with China and Japan.

"I will always put America first," he said.

Mr Trump said the US is ready to make a bilateral deal with any country in what he called the "Indo-Pacific" region, signalling the importance of India as a counter to the rise of China.

Earlier Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Danang that it is important for Australia to reach out and engage as widely as possible in the region.

Asked whether a recently proposed group of Australia, Japan, India and Vietnam will be seen as trying to hedge against China's power, Mr Turnbull said: "I will leave those in China to make their own conclusions."

Mr Trump did not mention the grouping which was first mooted a decade ago by Japan but moves are underway to resurrect it.

Mr Trump vowed to correct the US's huge trade imbalance with China and Japan.

"When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will from now on expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules," he said.

"We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides and that private investment, not government planners, will direct investment."

Referring to North Korea, Mr Trump the region must not be held hostage to a dictator's "twisted fantasies".

The president arrived in Vietnam from China on the fourth leg of a 12-day trip to Asia.

APEC countries has for years championed free trade.

Chinese president Xi Jinping, in stark contrast to Mr Trump, in his APEC speech highlighted the benefits of multilateral cooperation, and called for economic globalisation to be more open and inclusive.

"Over the last few decades, economic globalisation has contributed significantly to global growth. Indeed, it has become an irreversible historical trend," said Xi.

On Friday, a day after Mr Trump had visited China and called for fairer access to its markets, China announced it would raise foreign ownership limits for foreign banks.The step is likely to encourage more US banks into the Chinese market.

With Kirsty Needham

This story 'I won't let US be taken advantage of anymore on trade': Trump's sharp rebuke to China first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.