Why Trump Thinks 'Tariffs Are a Beautiful Thing'

President Donald Trump said if Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the G20 meeting tariffs would go into effect immediately

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett on trade tensions with China, the state of the US economy, the outlook for Federal Reserve policy and his upcoming departure from the White House.

Trump said last week he would decide after the meeting of the leaders of the world's largest economies whether to carry out a threat to impose tariffs on at least $300 billion in Chinese goods.

On Monday, President Trump accused China of seeking to gain a competitive advantage against U.S. producers by devaluing their currency, the yuan, and threatened to slap Beijing with immediate tariffs on $300 billion' worth of Chinese goods if Xi didn't meet him in Osaka on June 28 or 29 during the G20 summit.

"I would be surprised if he didn't go", Trump said. "Whatever they can do to inflict pain on our farmers, and put Trump in a position where he's going to lose support because of the economic reeling they're going to have, that's going to work to China's advantage".

"They devalue their currency - they have for years". They have for years.

While Trump's decision to indefinitely postpone tariffs on Mexico has raised hopes of a US-China trade deal, his love for tariffs is likely to keep investors on their toes and the stock market volatile in the near term.

"We should be entitled to have a fair playing field, but even without a fair playing field-because our Fed is very, very destructive to us - even without a fair playing field we are winning", he added.

The U.S. government has also angered China by putting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that effectively bans U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker. Lael Brainard is the only Democrat on the board.


The two leaders have forged a strong bond since Mr Trump came into office in January 2017.

The foreign ministry spokesperson hinted at further retaliation from China if Trump insists on more tariffs.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly called out the Fed and Powell for what the president sees as the central bank's failure to support economic growth, saying in 2018 that the Fed is a "much bigger problem" for the US than China.

"We note that for some time, the USA has made multiple public statements that it look forward to a meeting between the two heads of state during the G20 Osaka Summit", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing when asked about the issue.

The two fights have pitted the Trump administration against its top two trading partners. Many analysts think the Fed will cut rates a couple of times before year's end, perhaps beginning in July, though that view is not unanimous.

President Donald Trump said additional tariffs on Chinese goods will go into effect, if Chinese leader Xi Jinping doesn't meet with him during the upcoming G20 Summit.

Later on Monday after the CNBC interview, Trump told reporters that he wouldn't be insulted if Xi refused to meet with him.

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