President Donald J. Trump on Sunday afternoon took a tougher stance on China than he did on social media.
The president issued a stern warning to China that any trade deal would not be possible if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) turned Hong Kong into “another Tiananmen Square” massacre.
Speaking to reporters at an airport in Morristown, New Jersey, President Trump said any trade deal with China would be incumbent on the CCP not using violence against the Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.
“I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence. I mean if it’s another Tiananmen Square, I think it’s a very hard thing to do (a trade deal), if there is violence,” said President Trump.
“I’m president, but that’s a little beyond me because I think there’d be tremendous political sentiment not to do something,” he said.
President Trump stated, “China would like to make a deal” but “I’m not ready.” “If I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up, but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” said the president.
“I’m just not ready to make a deal yet,” reiterated President Trump, who commented, “If this weren’t part of the deal [not responding to protesters with violence], possibly something would have happened already a long time ago.”
The president hoped the two countries could wind up with “a very good deal,” adding that China “needs a deal much more than we do.” He tweeted that the two countries are “talking.”
We are doing very well with China, and talking!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2019
President Trump reassured journalists that the U.S. economy is “doing very well.”
“We have the strongest economy by far in the world,” said President Trump. “The tariffs have cost nothing, in my opinion, or certainly very little,” he added.
During the press conference, President Trump said he had a “very good meeting” with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who spoke about how the new tariffs would impact Apple products that are currently manufactured in China.
The president said that Cook “made a good case” that “Samsung is their number one competitor and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea,” said the president.
President Trump told reporters that the Apple chief said that it would be “tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they’re competing with a very good company that’s not”—because Samsung would not be paying tariffs as they are based in South Korea.
President Trump said Apple’s chief made a “very compelling” tariff case, prompting him to consider tariff changes that he delayed till mid-December.
The president made these remarks about trade disputes, and commented on Greenland as well as Afghanistan during the press conference before boarding Air Force One to return to the White House.