President Donald Trump is attending the G-20 Summit taking place in Osaka, Japan, from June 27-29 where he will deal with multiple crucial international issues.
While on route to Japan, President Trump took time to stop and visit American troops in Alaska. This is the third time in recent months that the president has stopped in Alaska to see the troops while flying to or from Asia. In February he surprised the troops in Alaska while returning from Vietnam and made a visit again while on route to Japan in May.
The president will have numerous critical and urgent international issues to deal with while in Japan, which are of profound concern to both the United States and the world.
While speaking with the media on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for Japan, President Trump brought up the subject of the critical trip and invited questions.
“I’m heading as you know, and some of you are coming with me, I’m heading to Japan. Osaka. And we’re going to be meeting with a lot of different countries many of whom have been taking advantage of the United States but not so much anymore and soon not at all anymore. And so we appreciate any questions,” offered the president.
The media responded by asking two questions about Robert Mueller and Russian collusion and a question insinuating that the president’s policies contributed to the death of a father and daughter who drowned while attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States. After responding to those questions the president was then asked if, while in Japan, he will be meeting Vladimir Putin who the president has been repeatedly accused of colluding with against the United States.
The president responded in a direct manner.
“I’ll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business.” said the president who then immediately moved on to another reporter.
The president was then asked about discussing trade with China while in Japan.
“There’s a possibility.” said the president. “I’m meeting with Russia, I’m meeting with China, I’m meeting with many countries. We’re meeting with many countries. We have many things – we’ve been ripped off by everybody over the years. They’re not ripping us off anymore. A big difference right now.”
President Trump has repeatedly stated multiple ongoing concerns with China, which have not been addressed by prior administrations.
The president began imposing tariffs on China in 2018. On May 10 of this year, the president increased tariffs to 25% on all $250 billion of previously tariffed Chinese goods. The tariffs have forced China to discuss multiple economic and security issues, which they had refused to address in the past.
Besides security issues, the business and economic related issues include forced transfer of sensitive technology from U.S. companies as a pre-condition for doing business in China; mass-scale intellectual property theft; hacking the computer systems of American companies to steal valuable research, development and technology; and excessive subsidizing of Chinese companies, giving them unfair global trading advantages.
The president said that his tariffs have allowed the United States to recoup some of the losses to China for the first time but the outcome of negotiations with China remains to be seen.
“We’re meeting with China. Just so you know, China has been paying us billions and billions of dollars. Until I got here they never paid this country ten cents. So we’ll see what happens with China with Russia with Japan with many countries.”
In addition to China and Russia, the president will have to deal with Iran in Japan, which remains a major concern and will certainly be discussed. The president was asked about Iran and said that he is in no rush and that Iran is facing pressure.
“You know what? Iran can do whatever they want, it’s just fine. I have plenty of time but they have a country that’s in economic distress. It’s an economic disaster right now .. In the meantime they have very strong sanctions. They have to live with those sanctions” said the president.
The president also had some harsh words for the Iranian Islamic regime.
“But Iran should do the right thing for their people. The problem is I don’t believe their leaders—I’m not sure that their leaders care for their people. If they do they’ll make a deal. If they don’t they’re just thinking about themselves. And they’re selfish and they’re stupid if that’s what they’re doing.”