President Donald Trump said Thursday that tariffs are an “excellent” alternative to a trade deal with China, hours before Chinese officials were set to meet U.S. trade negotiators later in Washington.
Trump has set a midnight deadline to slap additional tariffs on China, though he has suggested that his administration might reverse its decision depending on progress in the negotiations.
“They’ll see what they can do,” Trump said at a White House event Thursday afternoon. “But our alternative is an excellent one.”
“It’s an alternative I’ve spoken about for years. We’ll take in well over a hundred billion dollars a year. We never took in 10 cents from China,” Trump said, referring to additional tariffs he promised to impose on China. “And I think it’ll be a very strong day, frankly. But we’ll see.”
After Trump’s comments at the White House, stock indexes recovered from ground lost stemming from worries stirred up by his comment Wednesday night that China “broke the deal.” Before Trump’s remarks Thursday afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen more than 400 points.
Trump added: “It was their idea to come back.”
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