President Donald Trump told Breitbart News on Saturday that while China would love to strike a new bi-lateral trade agreement, they’ve made too much money for too long and as they’re not doing well now, they’re not yet ready to do a deal with America.
“How will you know when China is ready to negotiate again?” Breitbart News asked as president Trump spoke with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for a Kentucky rally.
“China wants to make a deal. China would love to make a deal,” said Trump. “I don’t think they’re ready yet.”
Pressed on why they aren’t ready and how he will know when they are, Trump said, “I just don’t think they’re ready yet.”
“They’ve made too much money for too long,” he went on. “What they’ve done to our country is take out anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion a year. Rebuilt China.”
“I have great respect for China and for President Xi [Jinping] in particular,” Trump reinforced with expectation of a deal someday. “We’ll probably make a deal, but I don’t think they’re ready.”
“They want to make a deal,” he repeated, adding, “They are not doing well. If you look at their economy, the Chinese economy is not doing well. And we’re doing very well. We’re doing better than we’ve ever done.”
“But I told them a week ago — they want to come in, they want to make a deal — I said, you’re not ready to make a deal,” he said.
Later another reporter asked whether the U.S. has leverage over Saudi Arabia given their multi-billion dollar investment in the U.S.? In his response, president Trump remarked, “And we have the strongest country economically since I took over. You know, we’ve gained $11 trillion in worth. China has lost many trillions of dollars. We’ve gained $11 trillion in worth.”
President Trump has been very clear that China must halt “unfair” trading practices including theft of U.S. intellectual property. He has also called repeatedly for a more reciprocal trading relationship with China and other countries. Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials have held meetings in each Beijing and Washington, DC. Negotiations have been on-again, off-again between the two nations.
The U.S. has levied multiple waves of additional tariffs on a total $250 billion in Chinese goods with president Trump previously warning there are tariffs on another $300 billion in abeyance. China has shot back with retaliatory tariffs, appearing to specifically target industries that have been supportive of the U.S. president. President Trump revealed his belief that China is not ready for a trade deal shortly after late-September plans for another meeting between U.S. and Chinese trade officials was canceled.