Trump defends position on trade after threat of new China tariffs

President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE on Saturday defended his policy of using tariffs to pressure other nations to negotiate revised trade deals after the latest round of U.S. talks in China wrapped up without any significant progress toward a deal.

Trump defended his position on trade after his administration threatened this week to place another 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods beginning on Sept. 1. That, combined with existing 25 percent penalties on $250 billion in goods, would impose levies on virtually all remaining Chinese imports.

“Things are going along very well with China. They are paying us Tens of Billions of Dollars, made possible by their monetary devaluations and pumping in massive amounts of cash to keep their system going. So far our consumer is paying nothing - and no inflation,” Trump tweeted Saturday.


Despite the economic and political uncertainty surrounding the tariffs, Trump also claimed without providing evidence that his trade policy is paying dividends and forcing other countries to initiate talks to create new trade deals.

“Countries are coming to us wanting to negotiate REAL trade deals, not the one sided horror show deals made by past administrations. They don’t want to be targeted for Tariffs by the U.S.,” the president tweeted.

Trump’s unexpected announcement this week threatening more tariffs on China signaled his dissatisfaction with the progress of trade talks between envoys of the two countries in Shanghai, which continued this week without any signs of significant progress.

The president was briefed on the negotiations Thursday before he made his tariff announcement, an administration official told The Hill.

“I think he wants to make a deal, but, frankly, he’s not going fast enough,” Trump said this week of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The president’s threat, the latest development in a roughly two-year trade war with Beijing, rattled financial markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 280 points after the news and the S&P 500 dropping by around 0.9 percent.

On top of the market slides, China also threatened Friday to impose retaliatory levies against the U.S., saying it will take “necessary countermeasures to resolutely defend its core interests.” 

“Adding tariffs is definitely not a constructive way to resolve economic and trade frictions, it's not the correct way,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a meeting of Southeast Asian ministers in Bangkok on Friday.

Speculation has also abounded that a prolonged trade war with China could harm Trump’s reelection prospects in 2020. The new tariffs, which will cover an array of consumer goods such as clothing and electronics that were not previously subject to import taxes, could lead to rises in prices on back-to-school supplies and popular electronic devices such as iPhones.

“Raising tariffs by 10 percent on an additional $300 billion worth of imports from China will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong U.S. economy,” Myron Brilliant of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest business group, which has frequently tangled with Trump on trade, told The Hill