Trump dismisses Toomey's criticism on trade, says judge China talks by 'end product'

Trump dismisses Toomey's criticism on trade, says judge China talks by 'end product'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE on Thursday dismissed criticism from Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) that the ongoing trade war with China could hamper the U.S. economy, arguing he has no choice but to continue.

The president called into Brian Kilmeade's Fox News Radio show, where he was asked about the GOP senator's ambivalence about the escalating trade dispute with Beijing. Trump urged critics of his trade tactics to withhold judgment until they see the "end product."

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"What does Pat Toomey want me to say? 'Let me put my hands up, China, continue to rip me off,’ ” Trump said, adding that he likes the senator.

"There's nothing you can do but tariffs," he continued. "And I'm doing other things also, by the way. But the primary thing is tariffs. It's having a devastating effect and they're coming to the table and we'll see whether or not they make a deal." 

Toomey has been openly critical of the president's use of tariffs. He told Politico in a story published Thursday morning that there is "no question that trade uncertainty is contributing to the slowdown."

Trump last week tweeted that he would impose increased tariffs on Chinese goods starting Sunday, followed by another round of increases in October. The move came in response to Beijing's threat of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products.

Confusion ensued during the Group of Seven (G-7) summit over the weekend after Trump initially said he has second thoughts about "everything" when asked whether he regretted increasing tariffs on China.

Trump later said U.S. officials had a call with a top Chinese official, though Beijing disputed that was the case, sparking further uncertainty about where things stood.

“Look, this is having a tremendous impact on China. I don’t know if it's having an impact on us. I don’t think so,” Trump said Thursday.

Trump told Kilmeade that there was "a talk" scheduled for Thursday with China, but he did not specify who would be involved or what would be discussed.