President Donald Trump said Monday that China is taking a significant financial hit as a result of his escalating trade fight.
“China has taken a very hard hit over the last number of months,” Trump said, asserting that they were likely ready to make a deal with the United States.
The president commented at length about China during his press conference after the G7 conference of world leaders in France.
Trump noted that China had lost three million jobs as a result of the trade fight and was at risk of losing their entire supply chain to the United States.
“Their chain is breaking up like nobody has seen before, once that happens it’s very hard to put it back together,” Trump said.
Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping was a “brilliant” man and a “tough guy,” but was likely ready to make a deal with the United States.
“He can’t lose three million jobs in a very short period of time and that’s going to be magnified many times over. It’s going to break down the Chinese system of trade, and it’s going to break down the Chinese system of trade and he can’t do that,” Trump said.
The president also noted China manipulated its currency, putting a lot of cash in their economic system, and the prices of consumer goods were not rising. He estimated that China could not sustain the current levels of their market manipulation.
“If you look at the goods coming in from China … they have power that others don’t have but that power is only good for so long,” he said.
Trump concluded that he was not sure about the possible timeline for a deal with China, but predicted that it would happen.
“I’m not sure they have a choice, and I don’t say that as a threat, I don’t think they have a choice,” he said.
He said the trade fights with China should have been lead by past presidents, including under the Obama administration, both Bush presidents, and former President Clinton.
“I’m doing a lot of things that I shouldn’t have to be doing,” Trump said.
Trump was confronted by reporters with conflicting statements about China, including his praise of Chinese President Xi, prompting the president to defend his process.
“Sorry, it’s the way I negotiate,” Trump said in response to a New York Times reporter who asked him to explain his chaotic approach to China. “It’s the way I negotiate, and it’s done very well for me over the years, and it’s doing even better for the country.”
Trump said that multiple people urged him to end the trade fight with China, but he would continue fighting.
“They don’t have the guts and they don’t have the wisdom,” he said.
Trump said the United States economy continued to do well, despite the ongoing uncertainty in the stock market.
“We’re in a very strong position,” he said, pointing to historic low unemployment.