Donald Trump demanded the exodus of American companies from Chinese soil on Friday following Beijing’s announcement of retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods starting 1 September and 15 December.
During the third day of the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz, President Donald Trump said that American companies should leave China if the United States doesn’t make a deal with China, adding that they could stay if the two sides came to an agreement.
Earlier in the day, he noted that trade talks with Beijing were in a much better position than at any time, and said that “anything is possible” when asked if he could postpone envisaged tariffs on Chinese products.
“I can say we are having very meaningful talks, much more meaningful I would say than any time frankly. For the most part it is because we are doing very well. China is a great country… They are losing millions and millions of jobs which are going to other countries. If I were them I would want to make a deal. I think we are probably in a much better place now than at any time in the negotiation. I don’t think we could have gotten here without going through this process. I think we are in a stronger position to do a deal. A fair deal for everyone”, POTUS said.
He also claimed that Chinese officials had reached out to US trade counterparts and proposed to return to the negotiating table.
China’s Vice Premier Liu He stressed on Monday that Beijing sought to resolve the dispute through “calm” talks, and vehemently opposed the escalation.
“They want calm, and that’s a great thing, frankly. And one of the reasons that he’s a great leader, President Xi, and one of the reasons that China’s a great country is they understand how life works. China called last night our top trade people and said ‘Let’s get back to the table’, so we’ll be getting back”, Trump said, welcoming the offer.
On Sunday, the US president stated that he did not want to decalre a national emergency over China, even though he has “the right” to do so. Asked if he had any “second thoughts” about escalating the trade dispute with Beijing, Trump said that he had “second thoughts about everything”. His comment was widely misinterpreted in the media, which prompted White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham to explain that he regretted “not raising the tariffs higher”.
Trump previously told reporters that he had “the absolute right” to order American companies to withdraw from China by invoking the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), a piece of legislation which authorises him to regulate transactions following a declaration of national emergency in response to “any unusual or extraordinary threat to the United States”.
His order followed China’s decision to introduce tariffs on roughly $75 billion worth of US goods on crude oil and agricultural products, as well as taxes on US imports of automobiles and their components, starting 1 September and 15 December.
Beijing’s move came as a response to Trump’s announcement that he would increase existing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods from 25 percent to 30 percent starting 1 October, and raise tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese products from 10 percent to 15 percent beginning 1 September.
Trump took to Twitter last week to accuse China of “taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more”, and insisted that Beijing shouldn’t have introduced tit-for-tat tariffs on US goods if they wanted to achieve “fair trade”.