AP NEWS

Donald Trump: U.S. in a ‘little squabble’ with China

May 14, 2019

Trade talks with China have not collapsed, President Trump said Monday, dubbing the dispute a “little squabble” that can be resolved.

Mr. Trump said the two countries have a good dialogue going and will try to smooth out their differences, after negotiations collapsed last week.

“We’re having a little squabble with China,” Mr. Trump said as he departed the White House for Louisiana. “I think it’s going to turn out extremely well, we’re in a very strong position.”

Mr. Trump plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit in Japan in late June.

“The relationship I have with President Xi is extraordinary, it’s really very good,” Mr. Trump said. “But he’s for China and I’m for the USA. It’s very simple.”

China plans to impose higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of American-made goods June 1 as payback for Mr. Trump’s decision last week to jack up U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods to punish Beijing.

Stocks rebounded on Wall Street Tuesday after a heavy sell-off in the Monday session, though the conventional wisdom is that investors will be wary until the trade dispute is resolved.

Farmers and retailers are especially jittery, saying the tit-for-tat tariffs amount to a gamble with the economy and their livelihoods.

Mr. Trump isn’t backing down, even as he reaches for a deal. He is considering an extension of tariffs to additional Chinese imports.

“We’re looking at it very strongly,” Mr. Trump said, as he jetted off to a liquefied natural gas terminal in Hackberry, Louisiana.

Economists say the costs of Mr. Trump’s tariffs will be passed down to U.S. consumers. The president says American businesses can avoid the ordeal by purchasing U.S.-made products.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who is traveling with Mr. Trump, said he supports the president’s hardball approach.

“Ultimately, we’ve seen the American economy suffer because China doesn’t play by the rules. They don’t comply with trade agreements, they steal our intellectual property,” Mr. Scalise said. “We’ve been in a trade war with China for a long time. I’m glad that President Trump is standing up to them.”

Mr. Scalise was asked if Mr. Trump understands that U.S. consumers ultimate bear the cost of the tariffs, even as Mr. Trump says the Chinese are paying billions into American coffers.

The Louisiana Republican pivoted to the impact on farmers, saying Mr. Trump will have their backs, and said the tariffs should be dropped by both sides once a fair agreement is reached.