Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday praised President Trump’s decision to place tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In an interview with New York radio host John Catsimatidis, Schumer said he thought Trump was right to place tariffs on China because, he said, the country is acting unfairly toward the U.S.

“China takes total advantage of the United States. They steal our intellectual property using cyber theft,” Schumer said.


“Not only do they steal our intellectual property, they keep our good companies out, and say the only way you’re going to be able to sell your American products in China … is if you come to China, make them there, and give us the techniques and intellectual property,” he added.

Schumer, though often a vocal critic of the president, has previously voiced support for Trump’s stance on U.S. trade policies with China, though he has cautioned the president not to let Chinese President Xi Jinping “play” him in the negotiations.

Schumer told Catsimatidis on Sunday that he urged Trump in a phone call a few weeks ago to carry out his plan to impose tariffs on China. 

“It’s going to take a little bit of toughness at the beginning. China will bark back. But they need us more than we need them — President Trump is right about that — and we should be strong. So I thought what he did on China is right,” Schumer said.

But, Schumer warned against “making war” with other U.S. allies.

“Making war with all the allies, particularly Canada … makes less sense,” Schumer said. “We should focus on China, they’re the ones hurting us, and they hurt everybody. If we do nothing about it, it’s long-term real damage to America.”

Trump announced the tariffs Friday morning, prompting China’s Commerce Ministry to release a scathing statement that expressed staunch opposition to Trump’s move, accusing his administration of being “fickle” and “provoking a trade war” by imposing such massive tariffs.

In a retaliatory move, China later announced it would slap $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods.

The first round of tariffs will start July 6 and hit 545 U.S. products worth about $34 billion, including agricultural products such as soybeans, corn and wheat, as well as automobiles, beef, pork and seafood.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a list of 1,102 products that will be affected by the 25 percent tariff. The list focuses primarily on products from industrial sectors that contribute or benefit from the “Made in China 2025” policy, Lighthizer said.

The aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, and automobile industries are likely to be affected, but popular U.S. consumer goods like cell phones and televisions will not.

Tags Charles Schumer China China trade Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Donald Trump Intellectual property Office of the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Robert Lighthizer Tariffs

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