Trump pick John Bolton warns of ‘a little shock therapy’ with China tariffs
President Trump’s incoming national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday he hopes impending economic tariffs against China could be “a little shock therapy” for the country.
Bolton pointed to Trump’s announcement Thursday that the U.S. would impose up to $60 billion in tariffs against China over what he called its unfair trade practices. China has already threatened reciprocal tariffs over the move.
Trump said the tariffs on Chinese products were aimed at curbing China’s infringement of copyrights and intellectual property patents that cost U.S. companies billions in lost revenue each year.
“I don’t think anybody is looking to have a trade war,” Bolton told New York AM 970 radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview broadcast Sunday.
“For far too long China has taken advantage of its place in the world … the trade arrangements it has with the United States and other countries,” he continued.
“The United States lives by these agreements,” Bolton said. “All we’re asking for here is for the Chinese to do the same. So I think this could be a little shock therapy, get their attention, and hopefully it’ll have a good impact.”
Trump called for the tariffs in response to a government study confirming the economic damage done over stolen intellectual property.
The president signed a memorandum Thursday demanding sweeping actions by the Treasury Department against the world’s second-largest economy.
“They just copy it and build their own. It’s theft. There’s no other description for it,” Bolton said of China’s trade practices involving intellectual property.
China is reportedly planning a retaliatory set of tariffs in response that would target $3 billion in U.S. imports.
Trump named Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations, as his new national security adviser, replacing H.R. McMaster.
Bolton, who will become the third person to hold the White House post under Trump, will enter the position next month.
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