The White House on Sunday said the only regret President Trump has about the escalating trade war with China is not jacking up tariffs even higher, clarifying comments the president made earlier during a meeting with world leaders in France.
”This morning in the bilat with the UK, the President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China.’ His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said
in a statement.
Trump in a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked if he had any “second thoughts” about the tit-for-tat tariff war with Beijing that some have warned could create a global economic slowdown.
”Yeah, sure. Why not,” the president told reporters at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, where he met with Johnson over breakfast.
“Might as well. Might as well. I have second thoughts about everything,” Trump said.
The commander-in-chief also dismissed reports that allies had been pressuring him to ease up in the trade war between Washington and Beijing to avert a possible global recession.
“I think they respect the trade war. China has been, I can only speak for the United States — I can’t say what they’ve been doing to the UK and to other places - but from the standpoint of the United States, what [China] has done is outrageous,” Trump said. “So the answer is nobody’s told me that. Nobody would tell me that.”
China ramped up tensions between the two countries on Friday when it announced retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods, including auto parts and agricultural products.
Later that afternoon, Trump shot back, saying he would raise to 15 percent the tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports due to take effect Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 and increase the 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent on Oct. 1.
He also “hereby ordered” American companies to find alternatives from doing business in China.
The Dow Jones dropped 623.34 points by the end of the trading day.
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