Donald Trump: Countries Only Negotiating Trade Now that I Want to Match Their Tariffs Against U.S.

Donald Trump has embarked on a protectionist America First agenda since coming to power
AFP/Brendan Smialowski
Washington, DC

President Donald Trump spotlighted Tuesday the countries that have been brought to the trade negotiating table as a result of new United States tariffs and American industries thriving under those same tariffs.

“Countries are negotiating,” Trump explained to the media during a White House meeting with members of Congress. “Without tariffs, you could never do that.”

“If they don’t want to negotiate, then we’ll do the tariffs,” he resolved. He urged listeners to remember that “we’re the bank that everybody wants to steal from and plunder and can’t be that way anymore.”

President Trump pointed to losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars between China, the European Union, and Mexico. He repeatedly said, “We can’t allow” these countries to take so much from the United States.

He reminded everyone that at the G7 he proposed dropping “all tariffs and all barriers.” Concerning their response, he said, “Nobody said yes. … It was like they couldn’t leave the room fast enough.”

“We picked up about eight trillion dollars in value doing what we’re doing,” Trump said of tariffs and the “overall market.”

He spoke of the steel tariffs and the “through-the-roof” propulsion occurring in the American steel industry, stating that for the first time in 35 years, the American steel industry is expanding.

Washing machines were “being dumped all over the country, not good ones by the way — ones that didn’t work very well, and now they’re opening up washing machines” after the U.S. put a 30 percent tariffs on washing machine imports, Trump said.

Trump addressed Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some operations to Europe in light of increased tariffs. He brought up a time when he explained to Harley-Davidson that he had gotten what was a 100 percent tariff in India on its products down to a much lower percentage of around 50. “It’s still way too high,” he added.

“Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse,” Trump said of the company’s citation of tariffs as its reason for the move. “I don’t like that because I’ve been very good to Harley-Davidson.”

“Mostly, companies are coming back to our country,” he added.

“Countries are coming back now to negotiate, including European Union — now are coming back to negotiate,” said Trump.

Speaking of the disparity of tariffs the U.S. and China charge one another on auto imports, 2.5 percent and 25 percent, respectively, Trump said, “That’s not fair. That’s not free. That’s just stupid.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.