Selected Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing
Q Mr. President, Charlie Spiering from Breitbart News. And a majority of polls show that Americans blame China for the spread of the coronavirus, and yet they’re taking advantage of the crisis to make the world more dependent on their supply chains. How do you get — how do you hold China accountable and how do you keep our country — how do you incentivize our businesses?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Charlie, there are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable. We’re doing very serious investigations, as you probably know. And we are not happy with China. We are not happy with that whole situation because we believe it could have been stopped at the source, it could have been stopped quickly, and it wouldn’t have spread all over the world. And we think that should have happened. So we’ll let you know at the appropriate time, but we are doing serious investigations.
Q How do you keep American businesses from relying on China for their supply chains? How do you — how do you fix that?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ve already discussed that, and especially having to do with medical supplies and others — and others. If you look prior to this virus, the deficit was coming way down under my administration because I put massive tariffs on China. We took in tens of billions of dollars. Gave some of it to the farmers who were unfairly targeted by China. Nobody has ever done that before. We never took in 10 cents from China.
Now, all of a sudden, I think you know very well, we’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars. I helped the farmers by giving them, two years ago, $12 billion — all coming from China — and we had plenty leftover too. And then the following year, $16 billion. And this year, we’re also going to help our farmers. But nobody has ever done a thing like that. Because they were targeted unfairly by China.
So we’re doing a very strong investigation, and we’ll let you know what the result of that is. We should be able to get the answers too.
Q Following up on Charlie’s question on making China — holding them responsible — Germany sent a bill to China for 130 billion dollars in — excuse me, 130 billion euros for the damages caused by the coronavirus. Would your administration look at doing the same?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we can do something much easier than that. We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that. But Germany is looking at things and we’re looking at things. And we’re talking about a lot more money than Germany is talking about.
Yeah, please go ahead.
Q Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: We haven’t determined the final amount yet.
Q Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s very substantial. If you take a look at the world — I mean, this is worldwide damage. This is damage to the U.S., but this is damage to the world.
source: The White House