President Trump told CNBC on Monday morning that he has China right where he wants them on a prospective trade agreement.
Although China continues to resist an agreement, Trump said they will ultimately agree to a deal with the United States “because they’re going to have to.”
In a wide-ranging telephone interview broadcast on “Squawk Box,” Trump defended his threats to slap tariffs on Mexico and China, which he said are putting the U.S. “at a tremendous competitive advantage.”
“The China deal is going to work out. You know why? Because of tariffs,” Trump told co-host Joe Kernen. “Right now, China is getting absolutely decimated by companies that are leaving China, going to other countries, including our own, because they don’t want to pay the tariffs.”
It’s unclear to what extent China is being hurt by U.S. tariffs. Data released by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government Monday morning show a widening Chinese surplus on U.S. in May.
An eventual agreement would come after years of China manipulating their currency to seek advantages in international trades, subjecting companies that deal with them to intellectual property theft, and scoring a trade deficit with the U.S. and other countries.
According to the report, Trump has forced China to the negotiating table after implementing a series of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in May.
The report adds: “So far, the U.S. has slapped duties on $250 billion in Chinese products, while Beijing has put tariffs on $110 billion in American goods. Trump has threatened to impose separate tariffs on more than $300 billion in currently untaxed Chinese goods, and reiterated that threat in the interview Monday morning.”
While the implementation of tariffs has resulted in some backlash from businesses and politicians, the president can point to Mexico as a success story.
Trump brought Mexico to the negotiating table with the use of tariffs and even had them agree to doing more to prevent illegal immigration as a result.
From the report:
Trump’s remarks came after the president sent a series of tweets touting the deal reached with Mexico that prevented the U.S. from imposing tariffs of 5% on all Mexican goods.
Those tariffs, set to go into effect Monday, were canceled following days of negotiations between officials from the U.S. and Mexico in Washington last week.
But Trump threatened on Monday to pull the trigger on tariffs against Mexico if Mexican lawmakers rejected the deal.
Trump rebuked the Chamber of Commerce on his Mexico strategy, as well: “I just want to say to the United States Chamber of Commerce, if we didn’t have tariffs, we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico. We got everything we wanted. And we’re going to be a great partner to Mexico now. Because now they respect us, they didn’t even respect us.”
In a joint declaration Friday, Mexico agreed to take “unprecedented steps” to stem the flow of migrants coming to the southern U.S. border illegally. The declaration offered few specifics, but multiple outlets reported shortly after that Mexico had offered to deploy up to 6,000 members of its national guard to the country’s own southern border with Guatemala.