The US is very successfully using tariffs or the threat of it to negotiate a fair-trade deal with other countries, President Donald Trump said on Monday.
Trump Monday threatened to impose new tariffs on additional USD 267 billion worth of imports from China and asserted that there will be no deal with Beijing unless it changes its unfair trade practices.
"We're using tariffs very successfully to negotiate, and if we're unable to make a fair deal, then we'll use tariffs," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference after he announced a major regional trade agreement with his two neighbours of Mexico and Canada.
Trump was responding to a question on concerns in the US that the booming stock market might be hit because of his tariff policies against countries like China.
The US under him has imposed import duties on USD 250 billion worth of Chinese products and he has threatened to impose more if he does not get a fair and reciprocal trade deal.
"There are some who are worried that, because of the threat of future tariffs, it could potentially stifle an economy that is hot, a stock market that is hot. But yet today you have once again said, 'Hey, as it relates to China, more tariffs could be coming down the line'. Are you worried that potentially you are somewhat suppressing this economy from running further?" he was asked.
"No, no, no. No, I'm using them to negotiate. And hopefully we can make a great deal with China. A fair deal. And a reciprocal deal, but a great deal and a fair deal," Trump said in response.
"We have a lot of catching-up to do with China. You know, when they drain us for USD 500 billion a year, which is probably the real number - and that's not including the theft of intellectual property and other things. A lot of people say it's hard to value, but a lot of people say that could be USD 300 billion a year. That's a tremendous, you just can't let that happen," he said.
The US, he said is using tariffs very successfully to negotiate.
But America's two neighbours - Mexico and Canada - are way beyond that.
"We have a deal that really works. The nice part about the deal we make with them is it's not a specific product; it's a product all across the line, whether it's dairy, or just a lot of product. You see the list of products. There are many, many products, and they're all included, so it's across the board," he said.