President Donald Trump emphatically defended on Tuesday his decision to take on China economically, as reporters questioned his resolve.
“Someone had to take on China, we’re winning big,” he said.
The president commented to the press about his China policy during an Oval Office meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Trump said he would continue his fight with China despite any short term consequences to the American economy.
“It’s about time, whether it’s good for this country or bad for this country short term,” he said. “Long term, it’s imperative that somebody does this.”
Trump said that his life could be easier if he continued to ignore the problem with China, but vowed to keep up the fight.
“I could be sitting right now with a stock market that would be up 10,000 points higher if I didn’t want to do it,” he said and added, “You should be happy that I’m fighting this battle because somebody had to do it. I don’t think it’s sustainable with what was happening.”
Trump appeared annoyed by critics of his tough stance against China, saying that the country had been ripping off the United States for 25 years.
“Obama should have done it, Bush should have done it, Clinton should have done it, they all should have done it, nobody did it, I’m doing it,” he said.
He noted that China’s economy had suffered an incredibly bad year, since he began the fight, losing two million jobs and a lot of economic growth.
Trump acknowledged that the results were mixed, but scoffed at the critics.
“The smart people say thank you very much, and the dumb people have no idea and then you have the political people, and they go with the wind,” he said.
Trump again said that China was likely ready to make a deal with the United States, but added that he was not ready.