Selected remarks on China by Donald Trump at G7 Summit

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When having a closing press conference jointly with the French President Macron

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think they want to make a deal very badly.  I think that was elevated last night, very late in the night.  I see an alert — or, as you would call it, “breaking news.”  And it was that the Vice Chairman — we’re not talking about somebody from China at a low level — the Vice Chairman of China came out that he wants to see a deal made, he wants it to be made under calm conditions — using the word “calm.”  I agree with him on that.

And China has taken a very hard hit over the last number of months.  You know, they’ve lost 3 million jobs.  It’ll soon be much more than 3 million jobs.  Their chain is breaking.  A chain is breaking up like nobody has seen before.  And once that happens, it’s very hard to put it back together.  You understand.

I think they very much want to make a deal.  And the longer they wait, the harder it is to put it back, if it can be put back at all.  So I believe they want to do a deal.

The tariffs have hit them very hard in a fairly short period of time.  The United States will have collected over $100 billion in tariffs.  And I say it again: The reporters failed to — the media failed to acknowledge it.  But if you look at the goods coming in from China — we’re talking about China, not other countries.  If you look at the goods, they have a power that others don’t have.  But that power is only good for so long.

They’ve manipulated their currency, they’ve devalued their currency, and they put a lot of cash into the system.  And because of that, the prices have not gone up.  Or if they’ve gone up, it’s been very little, because they want to keep people working.  If the prices go up, they’re not going to be able to keep people working; they’re not going to be able to compete.  It’s a brilliant market.  It’s a brilliant, brilliant market, the world market.  A lot of markets are brilliant.

And, frankly, I think that China cannot — I don’t know, maybe they can, maybe they can’t.  I don’t think they can do that.  And I think they’re very smart.  And I think President Xi is a great leader, who happens to be a brilliant man.  And he can’t lose 3 million jobs in a very short period of time.  And that’s going to be magnified many times over.  And it’s going to break down the Chinese system of trade, and he can’t do that.

So when you say, “Do you think they want to?”  Maybe they want to and maybe they don’t.  But I think they want to make a deal.  I’m not sure they have a choice.  And I don’t say that as a threat.  I don’t think they have a choice.  In the meantime, the United States, which has never collected 10 cents from China, will, in a fairly short period of time, be over $100 billion in tariffs.  So I think they want to make a deal very badly.

Q    So the Chinese are saying that there weren’t any particularly special calls.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  The Chinese are not saying that.

Q    So are they not being truthful?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Excuse me, let me explain something.  The Vice Chairman of China — do you get higher than that, other than President Xi?  The Vice President — the Vice Chairman — it’s like the Vice President.  The Vice Chairman made the statement that he wants to make a deal, that he wants to see a calm atmosphere.  He wants it all to happen.  That says it there.  I don’t have to talk about — you know, you folks were reporting before, “Well, we can’t find any phone call.”  He released a statement.  I didn’t release it.  He released a statement.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know — and I told this to President Xi, who I really respect.  I really do.  I have great respect and I like him too.  And he’s a tough guy, but I have a lot of feeling for President Xi.  He’s very outstanding in so many ways.

But I told him very strongly — I said, “Look, you’re starting up here and you’re making $500 billion a year and stealing our intellectual property.  We’re down on the floor — lower than the floor.  You can’t make a 50/50 deal.  This has to be a deal that’s better for us.  And if it’s not better, let’s not do business together.”  I don’t want to do business.  Forget about tariffs for a second.  We’re taking in tremendous amounts of money.  Forget that.  I don’t want to do business.

Now, when I raise and he raises, I raise and he raises, we can never catch up.  We have to balance our trading relationship at least to an extent.  And they were unwilling to do that, and we’ll never have a deal if that happens.  But it’s going to happen because they have to have a deal.

When meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom

Q    You have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I have second thoughts about everything.

Q    Are you going to declare a national emergency on China?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, I have the right to, if I want.  I could declare a national emergency.  I think when they steal and take out, and — intellectual property theft, anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion a year, and where we have a total loss of almost a trillion dollars a year — for many years, this has been going on — in many ways, that’s an emergency.

I have no plan right now.  Actually, we’re getting along very well with China right now.  We’re talking.  I think they want to make a deal much more than I do.  We’re getting a lot of money in tariffs.  It’s coming in by the billions.  We never got 10 cents from China.  So we’ll see what happens.  But we are talking to China very seriously.

When meeting with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

Q    Do you still believe that the EU treats the U.S. worse than China on trade, after your discussions?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think the European Union — and I’ve said this openly; I say it with respect — I think they’re as tough as China.  I really do.  I think they’re very tough.  The United States has been not treated particularly well over the years.  And I’m not saying that as — it should have been the other way around, but it wasn’t.  I congratulate you.

I respect the European Union.  I respect China for being able to do what they’ve done to the United States over the years.  I mean, you look at a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden, the fact that he would allow them, for eight years with Obama, to do what they did to us.  This should have happened — what I’m doing with China should have happened 25 years ago.  Not just President Obama.  I mean, many presidents.  You go back with Bush and Clinton.  I mean, many — many Presidents should have done something about this.

Q    Mr. President, is the Chancellor pressuring you to deescalate the trade war with China?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No.  She’d like to see it worked out because it’s good for everybody, I think, if it works out.  Not pressuring.  She’s a brilliant woman and she understands exactly where everything is.  She knows before most people.  And she’d like to see it worked out.

When meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan

PRESIDENT TRUMP: And one of the things that Prime Minister Abe has also agreed to is we have excess corn in various parts of our country, with our farmers, because China did not do what they said they were going to do.  And Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn.  And that’s a very big transaction.  They’re going to be buying it from our farmers.

When  meeting with Prime Minister Modi of India

Q    Mr. President, the Chinese have said today publicly that it’s more low-level calls that have happened and they’re downplaying the significance of the calls with U.S. administration —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t know what you mean by that.  Low level?  The Vice Premier is low level?  I don’t think so.  I mean, it’s in your mind they’re low level.

What is the position of the gentleman that was quoted in the newspaper today?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Vice Premier Liu He came out with very significant statements, and we’ve been communicating through intermediaries back and forth with him.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  He’s the Vice Premier of China.

Q   Just wondering if you can clarify what you meant about the call.  Was that with Mr. Lighthizer or Mr. Mnuchin?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I don’t want to talk about calls.  We’ve had calls.  We’ve had calls at the highest levels, but I don’t want to talk about that.

Q    But last night — you said last night that there had been a call.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  But the Vice Chairman put out a statement last night that was a statement, and saying that he wants to make a deal and he wants calm.  And I think it’s a very good word use, “calm.”  It’s not a word that I use that often but it’s a good word to use.  And I think it’s one of the reasons that it’s a great country, and they understand.

I think that that message also helps with respect to Hong Kong.  I really do.  I think it makes it easier for Hong Kong to do something.  And I think that President Xi will do something with Hong Kong.  I really think that message is a good message with respect to what the ultimate outcome is in Hong Kong.

Very, very positive message.  And we appreciated it.  We appreciated it.

Tweets on China by Donald Trump during the G7 Summit

We have excess corn in various parts of our country with our farmers because China did not do what they said they were going to do. And Prime Minister , on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn.

Great respect for the fact that President Xi & his Representatives want “calm resolution.” So impressed that they are willing to come out & state the facts so accurately. This is why he is a great leader & representing a great country. Talks are continuing!

edited by staff

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