China, badly hurt by increased American import tariffs, is desperate to have a trade deal with the US, President Donald Trump has asserted, as the trade war between the two economic giants appeared set to escalate in the coming weeks.
"We're taking in billions and billions of dollars. Companies are leaving China right now and they're coming here because they don't want to pay the tariffs. They're going to other countries. I can tell you China would like to make a deal very badly. They're getting hurt very badly by the tariffs because companies can't pay the tariffs, so they're leaving China," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
Responding to questions, Trump said that China "will subsidise companies so our taxpayer" is not paying for very much of it.
"A report came out; they're paying for very little of it. But what it's doing is creating a fair playing field, which we've never had with China since the World Trade Organisation, he said.
Trump said he expects to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping very shortly, most probably on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, later this month.
"We had a deal with China and then they went back on the deal. They said, 'We don't want to have four major points, five major points'. So we changed it. But we had a deal with China. Unless they go back to that deal, I have no interest," he said.
Right now, we're taking in billions and billions of dollars. What we've done in the last two and a half years, we've picked up USD 14 trillion in net worth of the United States. China has gone down probably by USD 20 trillion. There's a tremendous gap. When I came in, that gap was getting very close, he asserted.
Trump slammed former US vice president and Democratic presidential aspirant Joe Biden for being a "dummy" to China.
"Joe Biden thought that China was not a competitor of ours. Joe Biden is a dummy. Joe Biden thought China was not a competitor. China made USD500 billion, over a short period of time, against Obama, Biden -- and for many, many years, in all fairness to them," he alleged.
"China is a major competitor and right now China wants to make a deal very badly. It's me, right now, that's holding up the deal. And we're going to either do a great deal with China or we're not doing a deal at all," he said.
"Right now, China is paying us billions and billions of dollars. They never gave us 10 cents. And China ate our country alive during Obama and Biden. They ate us alive. And then, Biden has some kind of relationship financially, or his son, with China? Tell me about that? Because China ate the United States alive economically, and it's a shame," he said.
Later addressing a renewable energy meeting in Iowa, Trump said that the "colossal trade deficits" financed the build up of China's infrastructure, military and technology at the expense of the American taxpayer.
"Now, in response to our economic self defense China has levied unfair retaliation against the farmers and the ranchers but we've made up for that retaliation with the USD16 billion. we had no choice. We want to get along with China, but we had no choice. I had great respect for the president of China, President Xi, but he's representing China and I'm representing the United States of America. Nothing much you can do about that," he said.