Trump Admits ‘Second Thoughts’ on Escalating China Trade War - 'Why Not?'
President gives thoughts on trade war with China at G-7
President Donald Trump admitted having “second thoughts" about escalating his trade war with China, before reaffirming his position that it was the right thing to do.
Trump revealed his thoughts with reporters during a breakfast meeting at the G-7 summit of world leaders:
Q Mr. President, any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, sure. Why not?
Q Second thoughts? Yes?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Might as well. Might as well.
Q You have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.
The media took the statements and ran amock with speculation.
But the White House issued a statement to clarify Trump's remarks.
“His answer has been greatly misinterpreted,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
“President Trump responded in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”
Trump defended his fight with China, reassuring the country that talks continued.
“Actually, we’re getting along very well with China right now,” he said.
“We’re talking. I think they want to make a deal much more than I do.”
Trump added the stock market was still doing “great” following his tax and regulations cuts, accusing reporters of rooting for a recession.
“I mean, you people want a recession because you think maybe that’s the way to get Trump out,” he said.
“But I don’t even think that would even work, because, look, if there’s anything, it’s, you know, we’ve got to go into trade negotiations to get it right.”
Trump announced higher tariff rates on Chinese goods in response to China’s decision to raise more tariffs on Americans products on Friday.
“Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25 percent, will be taxed at 30 percent,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10 percent, will now be taxed at 15 percent.”
Trump said Friday that companies in the US are “hereby ordered” to start looking for alternatives to China amid the escalating trade war.
He also took a more serious tone with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a tweet, asking “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?”