Trump: China Will Make a Deal Because They Have To

Trump, Xi at Mar-a-Lago
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Monday that China will make a trade deal with the U.S. “because they’re going to have to.”

“A China deal is going to work out. You know why? Because of tariffs,” Trump said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”  “Right now China is getting absolutely decimated by companies that are leaving China, going to other countries, including our own, because they don’t want to pay the tariffs.”

In a wide-ranging phone interview on Monday morning, Trump touted his strategy of using tariffs to reach a border security deal with Mexico and said other countries were reforming their own trade practices after seeing what the U.S. was doing with tariffs. It was Trump’s most thorough defense to date of his strategy of using tariffs to accomplish his administration’s policy goals.

Trump also criticized the Federal Reserve, big tech companies, General Motors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the European Union.

On China, Trump was confident that a deal could be reached but played down the risks to the U.S. economy if there is no deal.

“Based on my opinion and a lot of knowledge, China’s going to make a deal because they have to make a deal,” Trump said.

China has not yet confirmed that its leader, Xi Jinping, will meet with Trump at the meeting of the Group of 20 nations scheduled for the end of June. Trump said that if Xi does not attend the meeting, the U.S. will raise tariffs on the $300 billion of goods not yet subject to a 25 percent tariff.
“If we don’t have a deal, then we will be raising the tariffs—meaning putting the tariffs on more than. We’ve only taxed 35 to 40 percent of what they send in. They have another 60 percent. And that will be taxed,” Trump said.

But Trump also said that he thinks Xi will attend the meeting.

“I think he will go. And I think we’re scheduled to have a meeting,” Trump said. “I have a great relationship with him. He’s actually an incredible guy. He’s a great man. He’s very strong and very smart. But he’s for China and I’m for the United States. It’s very simple.”

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