Trump: We're In A Great Position On China Tariffs And It Will Only Get Better

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During a photo op with the Hungarian Prime Minister Monday at the White House, President Trump said that he plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month when he travels to Japan for a G-20 summit. China retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. goods Monday in response to the U.S. raising tariffs on Chinese products last week.

"We're in a strong position," President Trump said. "Our economy has been powerful. Theirs has not been. We've gone up a lot since our great election in 2016, and if you look at the numbers, they've gone down quite a bit."





He also said they would use some of the money collected by the tariffs to help U.S. farmers impacted by China's retaliation: "This is a very positive step. I love the position we're in. There can be some retaliation, but it can't be very substantial by comparison. And out of the billions of dollars that we're taking in, a small portion of that will be going to our farmers, because China will be retaliating probably to a certain extent against our farmers."

REPORTER: Do you have any reaction to China's decision to retaliate on tariffs and the market reaction to that?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, the reaction is very simple. China has been taking advantage of the United States for many years. I'm not just talking about during the Obama administration. You can go back long before that, and it's been taking out $400, $500, $600 billion a year out of the United States. We can't let that happen. We're in a strong position. Our economy has been powerful. Theirs has not been. We've gone up a lot since our great election in 2016, and if you look at the numbers, they've gone down quite a bit. We're dealing with them. We have a very good relationship. Maybe something will happen. We'll be meeting at the G-20 in Japan. And that will be I think probably a very fruitful meeting.

We're taking in hundreds of millions of dollars. We're taking in billions of dollars of tariffs, and those tariffs are going to be tremendously, if you look at what we've done thus far with China, we've never taken in ten cents until I got elected. Now we're taking in billions of billions. It went up Friday substantially. It's 25% on $200 billion. Now it's 25% on $250 billion. In addition to that, we have another $325 billion we can do if we decide to do it.

So we are taking in tens of billions of dollars. We've never done that before with China. We've never done that before with anybody, frankly. Because we've been taken advantage of on all of our trade deals practically. This is a very positive step. I love the position we're in. There can be some retaliation, but it can't be very substantial by comparison. And out of the billions of dollars that we're taking in, a small portion of that will be going to our farmers, because China will be retaliating probably to a certain extent against our farmers. We're going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has made with our farmers which is about $15 billion and do something reciprocal for our farmers who our farmers can do well. They can sell for less and make as much money until it's straightened out.

Our farmers will be happy. Our manufacturers will be happy and our government is happy because we're taking in tens of billions of dollars. I think it's working out well. Again, we do much less business with China than they do with us. If you take a look at $100 billion versus $600 billion, and just so you understand, we don't have to pay any tariffs. If you're a manufacturer in this country, you pay nothing. Open your division or open up your product, have it made in this country as opposed to made in China. Or if you don't want to do that, and that would be ideal, that's what it used to be a long time ago when we were smart, when we had an economy that was really something very special, now we're having a period of tremendous growth and tremendous success like we haven't seen for a long time, but in the old days we made our product. And we took our product and that's what it was. Now we go to China. We buy it. Not anymore.

And if they don't want to pay tariffs, make it here or buy it from another country that's a non-tariffed country. Whether you go to Vietnam or so many others, you can do that. The bottom line is we are taking in tremendous amounts of money. It already started as of last Friday, but it really started seven months before that. It's not form of tariffs or taxes. And it had a tremendous impact. If you looked at the first quarter which is always historically the worst quarter, we were at 3.2 %. People were surprised. A lot of that was the tariffs we're taking in from China, so we're in a good position. I think it's only going to get better.

REPORTER: Can you guarantee a trade deal with China by June 1st?

TRUMP: We're in a great position right now. No matter what we do. I think China wants to have it because companies are already announcing that they're leaving China because they can't do that. They can't compete if they're in China with the tax. What a lot of companies are going to be doing, quite naturally, is leaving China and going to other countries so they don't have to pay the tariff. That's something that's a problem for China. They don't want to have that, and we don't want to have that necessarily happen to China, but we had a deal with China. It was 95% there, and then my representatives as you know, Secretary Mnuchin and Bob Lighthizer, they went to China were told the things fully agreed to we're not going to get anymore. They're going to unagree to them. That's not unacceptable. I said, good that's fine. Put on the tariffs.

Again, so we have tens of millions of dollars pouring into our coffers.

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