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Trump regrets not raising tariffs on China higher, White House says

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Trump regrets not raising tariffs on China higher, White House says

By Jeff Mason

 

2019-08-25T114613Z_1_LYNXNPEF7O0DR_RTROPTP_4_G7-SUMMIT.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

 

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) - President Donald Trump wishes he had raised tariffs on Chinese goods even higher last week, the White House said on Sunday, even as Trump signaled he did not plan to follow through with a demand that U.S. firms find ways to close operations in China.

 

Trump raised eyebrows on the sidelines of a G7 summit when he responded in the affirmative to questions from reporters on whether he had any second thoughts about raising tariffs on Chinese goods by 5%.

 

"President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher," White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement afterward that sought to clarify the president's remarks.

 

Trump announced the additional duty on some $550 billion (£447.9 billion) in targeted Chinese goods on Friday, hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.

 

The move was the latest round in a tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two largest economies that has damaged global growth, upset allies, and raised market fears that the world economy will tip into a recession.

 

When President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, he meant that he wished he had raised tariffs on Beijing even higher, the White House said. Jillian Kitchener has more.

 

It came just hours after Trump said he was ordering U.S. companies to find "alternatives" to China, including closing operations there and moving production to the United States.

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump could order companies out of China under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act if he declared a national emergency.

 

Trump indicated on Sunday that he was not planning such a step at this time, however.

 

"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 ... in many ways, that's an emergency," he said.

 

"I have no plan right now. Actually, we're getting along very well with China right now. We're talking," Trump said.

 

Mnuchin said the president did want U.S. businesses to start looking to shift investments away from China, saying they would be better off in the event the U.S.-China trade war lasted for a long time.

 

"We want them to be in places where they're trading partners that respect us and trade with us fairly," he said on the "Fox News Sunday" program.

 

'SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT EVERYTHING'

During his meeting with Johnson on Sunday in France, Trump was asked if he had second thoughts about his latest escalation.

"Yeah, sure. Why not?" he said.

 

The reporter repeated the question and Trump replied: "Might as well. Might as well."

 

A second reporter followed up again, asking if he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China.

 

"I have second thoughts about everything," Trump responded.

 

Asked to clarify Trump's remarks, Mnuchin, who is one of the lead U.S. negotiators in trade talks with Beijing, saidTrump remained resolute in trying to force concessions from China.

 

Another top official said he did not think Beijing would retaliate for the latest increase in tariffs.

 

"I think his was an action to respond to their action. So I doubt whether they're going to take another step," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on CBS' "Face the Nation" program. "We'll have to wait and see."

 

Mnuchin said Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were now "enemies" on trade, despite an otherwise good relationship.

 

"President Xi is still his friend," he said. "But as it relates to financial issues and trade, we have become enemies. We're not making progress."

 

(Reporting by Jeff Mason in Biarritz; Additional reporting by David Morgan and Ginger Gibson in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra, Tim Ahmann and Sonya Hepinstall)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-08-26
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Just a kneejerk reaction after been caught out by Macron and Iran during the G7.

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1 hour ago, Pattaya Plies said:

We love you Don.

Got that right Piles! 😊 

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13 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

We could even try having an election...

Oh yes we will have an election hopefully not rigged like the last one and btw Donald is running out of tools to keep his economy going I always thought lowering the interest rate was used to stimulate the economy during emergencies so what’s up?i suspect ringing out the last drop eh

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tug said:

Oh yes we will have an election hopefully not rigged like the last one and btw Donald is running out of tools to keep his economy going I always thought lowering the interest rate was used to stimulate the economy during emergencies so what’s up?i suspect ringing out the last drop eh

 

Your solution seems to be one liner whining posts which are always first. You do not come off as more intelligent than Trump yet there you are at 5 am with broken grammar to insult the POTUS for things you do routinely yourself.

Edited by Cryingdick
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5 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

Your solution seems to be one liner whining posts which are always first. You do not come off as more intelligent than Trump yet there you are at 5 am with broken grammar to insult the POTUS for things you do routinely yourself.

5 am, where are you posting from? It is 09.45 now, the website says 'posted 1 hour ago'.

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31 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

Your solution seems to be one liner whining posts which are always first. You do not come off as more intelligent than Trump yet there you are at 5 am with broken grammar to insult the POTUS for things you do routinely yourself.

Ahhh I’m just a regular guy I’m not the guy ruining the country’s reputation and btw kinda sounds to me that’s it’s you that are wining not me lol

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