It’s time China change things around, says US President Donald Trump

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Published: August 2, 2019 8:16:03 AM

The announcement came a day after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin returned from Shanghai after the latest round of trade negotiations with China.

Trump said he was not worried at all. (Reuters File photo)

Hours after announcing to impose 10 per cent additional tariff on the import of Chinese products worth USD 300 billion, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said it’s time China change what they have been doing for the past a few decades.

“For many years, China has been taking money out by hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China. So now it’s time that we change things around. If they don’t want to trade with us anymore, that would be fine with me. We’d save a lot of money,” Trump told reporters here. Soon after his announcement to impose additional tariff on the import of Chinese products, the stock markets in New York took a plunge.

Trump said he was not worried at all.

“No, I’m not concerned about that at all. I expected that a little bit because people don’t understand quite yet about what’s happened,” he said.

“We’ve taxed China on 300 billion dollars’ worth of goods and products being sold into our country. China eats it because they have to pay it. Because what they do is, they devalue their currency and they push money out,” he said.

The latest tariff on China, he said, was in addition to the 25 per cent tariff on chinese goods worth USD 250 billion.

“So, we’re taking in many billions of dollars. There’s been absolutely no inflation. Frankly, it hasn’t cost our consumer anything; it costs China,” Trump said.

“Now, what has happened is a lot of companies are moving out of China, so they can avoid. China has had a rough twenty- — this is their worst year in 27 years, according to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. I don’t want that,” he said.

The announcement came a day after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin returned from Shanghai after the latest round of trade negotiations with China.

When they came home, they said “we’re talking” and we have another meeting in early September.

I said, “That’s fine. But in the meantime, until such time as there’s a deal, we’ll be taxing them,” Trump said.

Responding to another question, Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping was not going fast enough.

“He said he was going to be buy from our farmers; he didn’t do that. He said he was going to stop fentanyl from coming into our country — it’s all coming out of China; he didn’t do that. We’re losing thousands of people to fentanyl. And this was time,” he said.

“Very importantly, for many years, China has been taking out hundreds of billions of dollars a year and rebuilding China. It’s time that we rebuild our country. The one thing I have to say: What China is doing is they’re devaluing their currency and they’re pumping money out like they’ve never done before. And they’re paying for these tariffs; we’re not,” Trump said.

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