President Donald Trump has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia to the White House for an Official Visit on September 20, 2019.
Since World War I, the United States and Australia have shared a vital security alliance that will continue long into the future. “The relationship we have with Australia is a terrific relationship, and probably stronger now than ever before,” said President Trump, adding that Australia has long been an invaluable ally and supports United States efforts to combat current security threats.
“China is a threat to the world in a sense”, Trump describes the current security threats.
The message from the White House is, “Our two countries have agreed to develop a new mechanism to strengthen and align coordination of our Indo-Pacific strategies to promote peace and stability in the region;” and that “Australia has joined the United States in our efforts to secure the safety of international waterways for transit and global commerce.”
Selected remarks on China by President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison of Australia before their bilateral meeting are as follows:
Q Will you be asking Australia to do more when it comes to China?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re talking about China all the time. And Scott has very strong opinions on China. And I think I’d let him, maybe, express those opinions. Maybe you do it right now. You’re not going to get a better audience than this. (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER MORRISON: We — we have a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. We work well with China. But, as we’ve spoken many times, we need to ensure that as countries develop and realize their potential, well, they come onto a whole new level. And that means there can’t be special rules around that.
And we have a great relationship with China. China’s growth has been great for Australia. But we need to make sure that we all compete on the same playing field.
And this is something that United States and Australia have been very consistent on, that we need to move into this new world where economies are changing, China is a big economy — not as big as the United States, but it’s a big economy. And that means we’ve all got to get on the same page with how the rules work. And that’s what we’re working to achieve.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I will say this: We’re making a lot of progress with China. They’re having a very bad year. Worst year in 57 years. The tariffs are coming into us. We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars of tariffs. They’re devaluing their currency, which means the tariffs are not costing us probably anything, but certainly not very much. They’re also adding a lot of money into their economy. They’re pouring money into their economy.
But we’re taking in many billions of dollars. At some point in the not-too-distant future, it will be over $100 billion. We’ve never taken in 100 cents from China. It was always the other way around.
With that, they’ve lost over 3 million jobs. Their supply chain is crashing. And they have a lot of problems. And I can tell you, they want to make a deal. That I can tell you. They want to make a deal.
Q Sir, would you consider 50 percent tariffs or even 100 percent tariffs on China, as someone suggested?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m not going to get into that. Right now, China is paying 30 percent on $250 billion. That starts in another couple of weeks.
As you know, President Xi called, through his top people. And they have a 70th anniversary — a very important day for them. And it happens to be October 1st, which is the exact date of the increase in the tariff. And they asked us, out of respect, would I delay the tariff a little bit. I said, “How about if I move it forward?” Let me move it forward a little bit because they didn’t want it to fall on the same day. It’s exactly October 1st. So I said, “Let me move up a couple of weeks.” They said, “No. No. No. Could you…”
So, out of respect for President Xi, who I do have great respect for, I moved it back two weeks. But right now, it’s 25 percent. It goes up to 30 percent on October 15th.
Q Mr. President, could I get some clarity from you on your thinking on China? Is it just a trade issue for you or do you see China as a strategic threat to the United States?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, obviously, China is a threat to the world in a sense, because they’re building a military faster than anybody. And, frankly, they’re using U.S. money. Presidents before me have allowed China to take out $500 billion a year, and it’s really more than that. They’ve allowed China to steal our intellectual property and property rights. And I’m not doing that.
And we actually were very close to having a deal. You know, we were very close. We had intellectual property; all of the tough things were negotiated.
they said, “We cannot agree to this.” I said, “That’s all right, we’re charging you 25 percent tariffs and then it’s going up.” And it’ll continue to go up.
And you see it, because sometimes you’ll see — look at the good reports. Look at the great reports that came out two days ago on retailing, on consumers, on numbers that nobody believes. Well, I think a lot of it — we’re taking in hundreds of millions, potentially, over a short period of time. Hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of money is coming in from China that never came in before.
So China wants to make a deal. I think we want to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. But I view China in many different ways, but right now I’m thinking about trade.
But, you know, trade equals military. Because if we allow China to take $500 billion out of the hide of the United States — that money goes into military and other things.
Edited by staff