China will make a trade deal with America because it has little choice, President Donald Trump said Monday, adding that he has more tariffs up his sleeve if talks fall apart.
“The China deal is going to work out. You know why? Because of tariffs,” Trump said during a telephone interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program.
“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,” Trump said, adding that China is “going to make a deal because they’re going to have to make a deal.”
During the interview, Trump said China, along with Mexico, has been taking advantage of rules that put American companies “at a tremendous competitive advantage.”
Trump said tariffs have been the key to bringing China to the table on trade.
“As soon as I put tariffs on the table, it was done. It took two days. Tariffs are a beautiful thing when you’re the piggy bank,” Trump said.
Trump said that if China refuses to work with the United States, there will be more tariffs on goods from the Asian giant.
“If we don’t have a deal, if we don’t make a deal, then we will be raising the tariffs,” he said.
The U.S. has imposed tariffs on about $250 billion of Chinese goods. Trump has said that if China will not reach an acceptable trade deal, about $300 billion in Chinese goods will be next to face tariffs.
During the interview, Trump responded to comments made by Myron Brilliant, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its head of international affairs.
“The weaponization of tariffs, the increase of threats on our economy, on our farmers, on our manufacturers, our consumers, is going to hurt our country. It also creates uncertainty with our trading partners,” Brilliant said on “Squawk Box” earlier, CNBC reported.
Trump used the example of his deal with Mexico in response.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump said Brilliant was “not protecting our country. He’s protecting companies who are members” of the chamber.
During the interview, Trump noted that the increased tariffs on Chinese products could be imposed if Chinese President Xi Jinping does not attend the G-20 summit meeting later this month.
Trump added that he has “a great relationship” with Xi, saying, “he’s actually an incredible guy.”
China issued an uncompromising statement in response to Trump’s interview.
“We do not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, according to The Washington Post.
“If the U.S. is ready to have equal consultations, our door is wide open. But if it insists on escalating trade frictions, we will respond to it with resolution and perseverance.”