(BIARRITZ, France) — President Donald Trump said Sunday he’s not facing any pressure from his allies over the United States’ trade war with China that has left markets reeling and the G-7 allies concerned about a potential global recession.
“I think they respect the trade war,” Trump said when asked if he was facing pressure from his allies to give up the trade war with China. “So the answer is nobody’s told me that. Nobody would tell me that.”
Trump held his first face to face meeting with Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom’s new prime minister Sunday morning, over breakfast at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, France. Later Sunday, he was scheduled to also hold meetings on the sidelines of the G-7 with the prime ministers of Japan, Canada and Australia.
Over a breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage, Johnson congratulated Trump on “everything the American economy is achieving,” but then cautioned Trump.
“We think that on the whole, the U.K. has profited massively in the last 200 years from free trade and that’s what we want to see,” Johnson said.
“We don’t like tariffs on the whole,” Johnson said, echoing the warnings allies have been sending as Trump escalates his tit-for-tat with China.
The president also said he has the right to declare a national emergency in order to force U.S. businesses to leave China, but doesn’t have any plans at the moment. He then added that actually, the us and China are getting along “very well” right now.
“I have the right to. If I want, I could declare a national emergency,” Trump said. “I think when they steal and take out intellectual property theft — anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion a year — and when we have a total loss of almost a trillion dollars a year, for many years this has been going on. And in many ways that’s an emergency. I have no plans right now,” Trump said.
“Actually we’re getting along very well with China right now. We’re talking. I think they want to make a deal much more than I do, so we’ll see what happens. We are talking to China very seriously.”
He said he has no concerns about the market’s reactions to his tariffs on China, and that he’s been getting praise and compliments from other leaders about the American economy.
“You people want a recession, because maybe that’s the way to get Trump out,” Trump said. “Maybe that’s the way we get him out.”
Trump and Johnson have plenty to discuss this morning: the global markets are reeling from the United States’ trade wars, the Amazon rainforest is on fire and North Korea is testing rocket launchers. As Johnson tries to navigate the U.K.’s divorce from the EU by Halloween, he’s also working on a potential trade deal with the U.S.
Trump said it’s a “very big trade deal, bigger than we’ve ever had with the U.K.,” noting the U.K. will no longer have the EU as an “anchor around their ankle.”
The president, who criticized the former prime minister’s handling of Brexit, said that he had no advice for Johnson. “He’s the right man for the job. I’ve been saying that for a long time.”
Johnson said he’s “very excited” about their trade talks. Trump said he hopes they can make a trade deal “very quickly,” noting he was “stymied” by Johnson’s predecessor.
The two leaders also talked about the potential for Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s G-7 hosted by the United States.
“It’s certainly possible,” Trump said, “we’ll see.”
The president was joined by National Security Adviser John Bolton, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, White House social media director Dan Scavino and U.S. Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt.
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