President Trump warned Beijing officials Thursday his willingness to drastically increase the amount of tariffs placed on Chinese goods, saying he was “ready to go to $500 billion” to protect American industries.
The President was speaking with CNBC when he was asked if there was any limit on his potential “trade war” with China, saying “We’re down $500 billion… I’m not talking about pennies.”
“We’re down $500, some people say $375, billion,” said Trump. “I’m not talking about million. I’m not talking about pennies. We’re down $375 billion, but other estimates could say $507 billion. It doesn’t matter, so it’s in between there or it’s there. We’re down a tremendous amount.”
“I’m ready to go to $500 [billion],” Trump added. “I’m not doing this for politics; I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country. We have been ripped off by China for a long time, and I told that to President Xi.”
AMERICA FIRST: Trump Announces STEEL IMPORT TARIFFS
President Trump unveiled stiff import tariffs on steel and aluminum Thursday, making good on his campaign promise to rebuild American industry in the face of cheap and unregulated foreign goods.
The President announced the new trade guidelines during a meeting with industry experts, many of whom told the President it was nearly impossible to compete with underpriced metals flowing into the country from Asia.
“What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful,” Trump told industry leaders. “And when it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel, and somebody said it before and I will tell you, you almost don’t have much of a country. Because without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same. We need it. We need it even for defense.”
“We need great steel makers. Great aluminum makers for defense. So, we will probably see you some time next week. We will be signing it in. You have protection for the first time in a long while and you are going to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking. You have to regrow your industries,” added the President.
Watch the President’s comments above.
AMERICA FIRST: Trump SLAMS China with $60 Billion in Trade Tariffs
The Trump administration announced crippling new trade tariffs against China this week, targeting one of America’s major trading partners with over $60 billion on foreign-produced goods.
According to CNBC, President Trump signed the executive order in the White House Thursday afternoon, saying the new tariffs were “the first of many” as America struggles to shrink its massive trade deficit.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is set to publish a highly-anticipated report in two weeks; detailing over 1,300 product lines impacted by the new import tax.
“The challenge for every president is how to do it in a way that doesn’t punish Americans for China’s misbehavior,” said Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “So, you’ve really got to narrow these and target these.”
The new tariff’s come as the Trump administration announced a massive tariff on steel and aluminum; charging foreign-producers a 25% import fee for access to American markets.