Trump uses strong US economy as leverage in trade talks: Mike Pence

Pence said Trump uses 'the power of this economy' to 'leverage changes'

Vice President Mike Pence said President Trump uses the strong U.S. economy as leverage in trade talks during a Tuesday interview with FOX Business' Charles Payne.

The vice president made the comments as Trump meets with EU world leaders at the 2019 NATO Summit in London.

"The president has also been willing to use the power of this economy and access to this economy and tariffs to leverage changes in our trading relationships with nations around the world," Pence said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

"I think it's that combination that’s working for American workers, and it's working for the American economy, and as we go forward with negotiations -- whether it be with France, whether it be with Japan, or our ongoing negotiations with China -- the American people can be confident that this president is going to continue to be willing to use access to this economy and use tariffs to put American jobs and American workers first," he continued.


The president touted the United States' economic success during talks with world leaders at the NATO summit and took a dig at France's economy while meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying the country is "not doing well economically at all."

Later, he said during a NATO press conference that Tuesday's Dow Jones slide of 400 points was "peanuts."

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"If the stock market goes up or down -- I don’t watch the stock market. I watch jobs. Jobs are what I watch," he said, adding that Tuesday's market drop was "peanuts" and the U.S. has "picked up record numbers, so that’s OK."

The Dow's slide came after the president said a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the 2020 election.