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President Donald Trump is not ruling out completely severing ties and decoupling the U.S. economy from China.
Speaking with Fox News host Steve Hilton in an interview that aired on Sunday, the president noted his previous accomplishments with the communist country before the coronavirus pandemic, but acknowledged that he does not feel the same about his landmark trade deal with China, warning that they will “own” the U.S. if Democratic nominee Joe Biden is elected president.
(Source: Fox News)
“As we look ahead to the next four years if you’re reelected, what will be your overall attitude toward China?” Hilton asked the president on “The Next Revolution” Sunday.
Trump asserted that he was the “only one that ever took on China,” adding, “They thought that would put pressure on me and they thought they could get whatever they wanted.”
“You saw the intelligence reports where they say China is working hard to get Joe Biden elected. If he gets elected, China will own our country,” Trump said.
Hilton asked if the president plans to be “tougher” on China in his next four years, asking why the U.S. does not simply “disengage” from the communist nation.
“I don’t want to set the world on fire right now on your wonderful show that I watch all the time, okay,” the president replied, mentioning “decoupling” and recalling the deal that he secured with China amid trade tensions between the nations.
“But with all that being said, it’s no longer the same to me,” he continued. “There has been no country that has ripped us off more than China.”
The president noted the improvements in the U.S.-China relationship under his administration and how things looked promising until the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We were doing better than we’ve ever done with China and I was all set to rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “Then we got hit with this damn situation.”
Asked by the Fox News host about the possibility of “decoupling,” the president remarked that it was “a very interesting question and that “if they don’t treat us right, I would certainly do that.”
“We lose billions, hundreds of billions of dollars. We get nothing from China. Yes, we get some goods that we could produce ourselves….[but] we get nothing. All we do is lose money,” he said, explaining that he has been moving America to more self-sufficiency.
Hilton noted that a decoupling strategy would likely never be considered by Biden.
“China owns Joe Biden,” Trump responded.
“His son got a billion and a half dollars. His son with no experience, no brainpower, no anything, never did it, not only Ukraine, he got hundreds of thousands of dollars of money from Ukraine and the upfront payment and then with China he walks up with a billion and half dollars in fees. It’s ridiculous,” he added.
“They own Joe Biden. They own him and they want me to it lose so badly,” Trump said.
When Hilton pressed him about Taiwan and the issue of technology, the president put on the brakes.
“If China, and it looks like they’re getting more belligerent, tries to invade Taiwan or effectively take control of it…would you let them get away with it?”
“I think it’s an inappropriate place to talk about it. But China knows what were going to do. China knows. I think this is an inappropriate way to talk about it,” Trump replied, saying the television program was an “inappropriate place to talk about it.”
“It’s a very big subject, very powerful subject but I think China understands what I’m going to be doing.” he added.
Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier weighed in after the interview clip, noting the importance of what Trump had said about decoupling from China.
(Source: Fox News)
“I think the China words were really something, and the fact that he went back and said maybe this decoupling is something to look at, is quite a statement,” Baier said. “If you also look at the fact that the Democrats didn’t talk about China, our biggest geo-political threat, you’re going to hear a lot about it over the next few days.”
MacCallum agreed, noting Trump’s repeated attempts to work out a deal with China from the start of his administration.
“I think obviously the president tried from the very beginning to work a deal with China, I think people on both sides of the aisle have always recognized that we weren’t getting a fair deal in our relationship with China and he tried very hard to make that happen,” she said.
“But that’s kind of all blew up with this coronavirus, and I think that he has been more persuaded by things he said and certainly he went much further in talking about that with you moments ago, Steve, that he would consider going so far as to be completely independent from China as a goal,” MacCallum added.
“It would be quite interesting to see what China’s response to that would be and whether or not they would prefer to have Joe Biden who has, in the past, been more conciliatory in terms of seeking a better relationship with China,” she said. “That’s pretty big news.”
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