Donald Trump recently sat down with the Financial Times for his first interview with the publication since becoming President in January.
Trump was discussing his upcoming meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping when asked if he was going to equalise tariffs in order to cut down the country’s trade surplus.
But, er, we’re not sure if he knows what tariffs are…
Speaking to Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times Trump said:
I don’t want to talk about tariffs yet, perhaps the next time we meet. So I don’t want to talk about tariffs yet.
But you used the word equalise. That is a very good word because they are not equalised. If you used a word other than tariff, it is not an equal.
You know when you talk about, when you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations, they are world champions.
And our country hasn’t had a clue, they haven’t had a clue.
The past administration hasn’t had and many administrations — I don’t want to say only Obama; this has gone on for many years — they haven’t had a clue.
But I do.
During his presidential campaign, Trump said that he wanted to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese goods.
Last week, he tweeted that we can no longer have massive trade deficits with China and that China isn’t doing anything to help with North Korea.
As Twitter users have pointed out, he sounds more like a hungover student in an ‘Intro to Macroeconomics’ lecture than the most powerful man in the world.
Currently, the China is the US’s biggest trading partner in goods, with nearly $600 billion in total traded between the two world’s largest economies in 2016.
Goods exported from US to China totaled $116 billion and goods imported from China to the US totaled $482 billion in 2015.
Presently, US tariffs on Chinese goods amount to 2.5 per cent for agricultural products and 2.9 per cent for nonagricultural products.
Chinese tariffs on US goods sold in China are significantly higher, around 9.7 per cent for agricultural products and 5 per cent for nonagricultural products.