Trump Stares Down China in Epic Trade War, Makes Bold Demand

May 29, 2018May 29, 2018

On the campaign trail and throughout his time in office, President Trump has talked tough on bringing production and jobs back from China to the U.S. Now he’s taking action with a bold new demand.

During his campaign, Trump called for a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods coming into the U.S., according to the New York Times, in order to give "American workers a level playing field." The president made it clear that he’d rather see Americans getting more work by making American goods.

Trump has also warned about China profiting from America by counterfeiting our goods and stealing our trade secrets in order to make those goods, Politico reported. He hopes a higher tariff will make it less profitable for China to do that.

The president put actions behind his words Tuesday with an official White House announcement of a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of imports from China, CNN Money reported. China isn’t surprised by Trump’s tough negotiations, the New York Times says.

The tariffs are expected to be put in place in late June, according to the Wall Street Journal, and will include measures to prevent China from getting their hands on American technology secrets.

Trump has talked about trade with the world’s most populous country a lot. Here are four notable quotes from him, as reported by ABC News, that explain his tough negotiating stance with them.

— November 2017: “I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country to the benefit of its citizens?”

— June 2016: “The single biggest weapon used against us and to destroy our companies is devaluation of currencies, and the greatest ever at that is China. Very smart, they are like grand chess masters. And we are like checkers players. But bad ones.”

— July 2015: “I beat the people from China. I win against China. You can win against China if you're smart. But our people don't have a clue. We give state dinners to the heads of China. I said why are you doing state dinners for them? They're ripping us left and right. Just take them to McDonald's and go back to the negotiating table.”

— 2015 book: “There are people who wish I wouldn’t refer to China as our enemy. But that’s exactly what they are. They have destroyed entire industries by utilizing low-wage workers, cost us tens of thousands of jobs, spied on our businesses, stolen our technology, and have manipulated and devalued their currency, which makes importing our goods more expensive — and sometimes, impossible.”

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