I don’t think US has accepted any unfair trade deals. Any deal is give and take. US can’t win on everything.
What China has been lacking is that they didn’t keep the promise they made when they joined the WTO. They didn’t open the markets they said they would open. It’s based on those promises that the West allowed China to join WTO. But within the WTO framework China has been mostly obeying the rules. If US felt we were mistreated we can complain to the WTO and impose tariffs, and we did that a couple times in the past.
What makes Trump’s tariffs so problematic is that he’s short circuiting the whole WTO system. He’s just claiming national security on things that don’t have anything to do with national security. The painstakingly constructed rule-based system goes to the wayside. This is very dangerous. It’s an open invitation for other countries to do the same.