WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States has already lost any trade war, as he defended his proposed tariffs against Chinese goods, saying the move might cause “a little pain” but the United States will be better off in the long run.
“We’ve already lost the trade war. We don’t have a trade war, we’ve lost the trade war,” Trump said in a radio interview with New York radio show, 77 WABC’s “Bernie & Sid.”
“I’m not saying there won’t be a little pain, but the market has gone up 40 percent, 42 percent so we might lose a little bit of it. But we’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished.
“So we may take a hit and you know what, ultimately we’re going to be much stronger for it,” Trump said.
On Wednesday, China unveiled a list of 106 U.S. goods — from soybeans and whiskey to frozen beef and aircraft — targeted for tariffs, in a swift retaliatory move only hours after the Trump administration proposed duties on some 1,300 Chinese industrial, technology, transport and medical products.
Washington has called for the $50 billion in extra duties after it said a probe determined Chinese government policies are designed to transfer U.S. intellectual property to Chinese companies and allow them to seize leadership in key high-technology industries of the future.
China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, has called the U.S. action “extremely mistaken” and unjustified, adding that the spat was a struggle between unilateralism and multilateralism. He also said no negotiations were likely in the current circumstances.
China said it was not afraid of a trade war, even though it did not seek one, and accused the United States of provoking the conflict. Gao said comments from U.S. officials about ongoing talks about trade issues were incorrect.
“Under these conditions, the two sides cannot conduct any negotiations on this issue,” Gao said, without elaborating.