Donald Trump said his trade war with China has hurt the performance of the U.S. stock market, but that he had to confront the country’s economic practices.
“Let me tell you, if I wanted to do nothing with China, our stock market, our stock market would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now but somebody had to do this,” the president told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “It was out of control and they were out of control.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,332 as of about 1:00 p.m. in Washington, up less than 1 percent for the day. Trump increased tariffs on Chinese imports this week to try to elbow Beijing into resuming talks on a far-reaching trade deal.
“We’ll see what happens, if they want to make a deal, they’ll make a deal, if they don’t want to make a deal, that’s fine,” he said.
Trump declined to say whether Chinese negotiators will visit Washington this month.
Trump has placed tariffs on some $360 billion of Chinese imports since the start of the trade war more than a year ago. On Sunday, he enacted a 15% duty on about $112 billion of Chinese products, mostly electronics and other consumer items.
An existing 25% tax on about $250 billion of goods is set to rise to 30% on Oct. 1. A separate batch of about $160 billion in Chinese goods, including laptops and mobile phones, will be hit with 15% tariffs on Dec. 15 — meaning that virtually every Chinese import will have a tariff levied on it.
Trump has previously said the Dow would be 10,000 points higher if the U.S. Federal Reserve hadn’t raised interest rates last year. Trump routinely criticizes Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
— With assistance by Sarah McGregor(Updates with background on tariffs beginning in sixth paragraph)