Trump says US helped 'rebuild' China: 'They took us for suckers'

President Trump kicked off his rally Tuesday night at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., announcing he was formally running for re-election in 2020 and touching on a number of subjects including trade deals and the tariffs imposed on China.

Trump spoke about old trade deals during his rally, saying the U.S. was taking in billions of dollars in tariffs and companies are leaving China as a result of the 25 percent tariffs he has imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated by increasing tariffs on $60 billion worth of American products that went into effect earlier this month.

Additionally, Trump is preparing to target $300 billion in Chinese imports that he hasn’t already hit with tariffs. He has not said when his proposed tariffs would go into effect, but in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week, he said he'll impose them if Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn’t meet with him at the 2019 G-20 Osaka summit.

“As you know you may have read a couple of things about China,” Trump told his supporters. “I spoke to President Xi, terrific president, great leader of China. I spoke to him this morning at length and we’ll see what happens. But we’re either going to have a good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all and that’s OK, too.”

Trump announced earlier Tuesday that he will meet with the Chinese leader at the G-20 summit next week in Japan.

The president told supporters the U.S. helped rebuild China and “they took us for suckers, and that includes (former President Barack) Obama and (former Vice President Joe) Biden.”

Trump said he was fighting for them and would continue to do so.

“I have news for Democrats who want to return us to the bitter failures and betrayals of the past: We are not going back,” he said to a rowdy crowd.


China and the U.S. have been embattled in a bitter trade war that shows no signs of letting up. Washington also placed Chinese telecom giant Huawei on its “Entity List,” which effectively bars American companies from selling components to Huawei without government approval. Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Monday the telecom giant’s revenue will be $30 billion less than forecast over the next two years, as he compared the company to a “badly damaged plane” as a result of U.S. government actions against it.

Fox Business’ Katherine Lam and The Associated Press contributed to this report.