President Donald Trump said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that China will make a new trade deal with the U.S. “because they’re going to have to make a deal.”
Trump said his use of tariffs as a stick have put the U.S. “at a tremendous competitive advantage.”
“The China deal is going to work out. You know why? Because of tariffs,” Trump said. “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.”
Data released Monday by China shows its trade surplus actually increased in May to $41.65 billion, so it’s unclear to what extent China is being hurt by the tariffs. But Trump defended his tactics and said China is “going to make a deal because they’re going to have to make a deal.”
Trump called in to respond directly to the Chamber of Commerce’s executive vice president and head of international affairs, Myron Brilliant, who blasted Trump’s tariffs earlier on the show.
“The weaponization of tariffs, the increase of threats on our economy, on our farmers, on our manufacturers, our consumers, is going to hurt our country,” Brilliant said. “It also creates uncertainty with our trading partners.”
Trump took issue with Brilliant’s assessment.
“He’s not protecting our country,” Trump said of Brilliant. “He’s protecting all of those companies that are members” of the Chamber of Commerce.
To date, the Trump administration has levied tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports and Beijing has retaliated with duties on $110 billion worth of U.S. imports.
Trump has threatened tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, and threatened again to put tariffs on Mexico if it didn’t follow through with helping to curb illegal immigration at the southern U.S. border.
Trump said the deal with Mexico is in place now specifically because of the threat of tariffs.
“I just want to say to the United States Chamber of Commerce, if we didn’t have tariffs, we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico,” Trump said. “We got everything we wanted. And we’re going to be a great partner to Mexico now. Because now they respect us — they didn’t even respect us.”
Mexico and the U.S. agreed to take “unprecedented steps” on Friday to stem the flow of migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. border. According to reports, Mexico agreed to send up to 6,000 national guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala to stop migrants there.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that most of the terms of the new deal with Mexico were agreed upon months ago, but Trump called that report a “FRAUD” and a “hit job.”
When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD and nothing more than a badly reported “hit job” on me, something that has been going on since the first day I announced for the presidency! Sick Journalism
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2019