“Right now, China is paying us billions and billions of dollars. They never gave us 10 cents,” he told reporters before departing for Iowa.
The president said the administration’s aggressive policy toward China’s trade practices has tightened the trade gap between the world's two largest economies.
“What we’ve done in the last two and a half years ... we picked up $14 trillion in net worth of the United States and China has gotten down probably by $20 trillion,” Trump said. “There’s a tremendous gap. When I came in that gap was getting very close.”
Trump attacked the Obama administration for U.S. trade policy on China, accusing his predecessors of allowing Beijing to trounce America economically.
“China ate our country alive during Obama and Biden. They ate us alive,” Trump said.
Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods if President Xi Jinping fails to attend this month’s G-20 summit in Japan. The president also said China wants to come to a trade agreement with the U.S.
“China is a major competitor, and right now China wants to make a great deal very badly,” he said. “And we’re either going to do a great deal with China or we’re not doing a deal at all.”
Trump praised his relationship with President Xi and said he expects to meet with the Chinese leader at the G-20 summit.
“We have a very good relationship. We had a deal with China and unless they go back to that deal, I have no interest,” he said.