Donald Trump: We have a big team over in China right now, and they’re working very hard, dealing with the Chinese. We want very much to make a deal. We’ll see what happens. But the tariffs are bringing a tremendous amount of money to our Treasury. And as you read, of the 21 points — and actually, the number would be 25 now, on the areas that are taxed at 25. China is paying for 21, and we’re paying for 4. So that’s pretty good.
But we’re bringing billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury right now. We’ll see what happens, but they very much want to make a deal. Their economy has been hurt by the tariffs. And our economy is thriving like, really, never before. I mean, we’re doing incredibly well.
Q: Mr. President, do you plan to meet with President Xi at the end of March?
THE PRESIDENT: Not at this moment. We have our people over there now. I just got a report. Things are going well with China. China wants to make a deal very badly. I want it to be a real deal, not just a deal that makes — you know, cosmetically looks good for a year. We have a chance to really make a deal — a real deal with China. We’ve never been in this position before. We’ve always been the lame duck. And we’re not the lame duck anymore. And we’ve gone up tremendously in value as a country, in economic value. Tremendously.
Larry, we’ve gone up what — $11 trillion, $14 trillion? And China has gone down close to $20 trillion since we’ve started this whole —
MR. KUDLOW: Worst performing stock market in the world.
THE PRESIDENT: Say it?
MR. KUDLOW: China — worst performing stock market in the world.
THE PRESIDENT: Has anybody ever heard of Larry Kudlow? (Laughter.) That voice. I hear that voice, and you think money. Right, Larry? (Laughter.)
MR. KUDLOW: Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: So, I didn’t even know that. That’s — China, he said, has the worst performing stock market right now in the world. And we don’t want that. We want China to do — but — and that’s because of us. And we’re — have to be one of the best performing stock markets, but we are the best performing country and we have a lot of potential for further growth.
So we’re doing very well over in China. Our people are there. You know the people very well. And I think we’re going to have some good answers. I think — either way, I’m happy. I’m happy either way. I could live receiving billions and billions of dollars a month from China. China never gave us 10 cents. It was always the opposite way. Now they’re paying billions of dollars a month for the privilege of coming into the United States and, honestly, taking advantage of our country. So we’ll see how it works out.
But at some point, I expect to meet with President Xi — who I have a lot of respect for and like a lot — and make the parts of the deal that the group is unable to make. That’s the way deals happen.
Q Will the March 1st deadline slide, do you think?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thus far, I’ve said — as you know, the tariffs tick up for us. In other words, we take in much more money because the tariff — and there’s nothing they can do that’s comparable, so it’s not like tit for tat. The tariffs kick in; they go up.
Right now, they’re paying — they’re paying 25 percent on $50 billion. Okay? And they are paying 10 percent on $200 billion. So we have $250 billion. We have $267 billion that we were very nice about and we’re not taxing. On the $200 billion, we’re paying the 10 percent. The 10 percent on $200 billion goes up to 25 percent on March 1st. And so far, I’ve said don’t do that.
Now, if we’re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal, and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that. Okay?
From “Remarks by President Trump in Cabinet Meeting”
The White House
11:54 A.M. EST