President Donald Trump on Sunday got key support for his punitive trade tactics with China from fellow New Yorker and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
In an interview with radio host and businessman John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y., the New York Democrat said “I’m closer to his view of trade.”
“We gotta get tougher with China,” he said. “If we stop being tough with China on trade they’ll stop pushing North Korea… it’s economics that’s key to China.”
And with “squeezing China,” he added, Trump is “on the right path, particularly with the intellectual property."
“China is not helpful to the United States. They are happy to see us in trouble," Schumer said.
"And the way to get at them — what is the mother lode for China — is their trade with us," he pointed out.
"They take advantage of American workers, American wealth, American companies regularly. I called them rapacious."
Schumer noted that pressuring China on trade could force the Chinese to cooperate with American interests in North Korea, where the United States is working to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons program.
Trump has come down hard on China for its trade practices since he began his campaign for the White House in 2015.
But in recent weeks, he’s announced $50 billion in tariffs against Chinese imports to the United States and has threatened to level another $100 billion — stoking fears of a trade war that could impact U.S. workers, especially in America’s heartland agriculture industries.
Trump also has lashed out at China for devaluing its currency, though the Treasury Department move was not indicative of Beijing manipulating the value of its money.
In the interview, Schumer also praised the recently passed, massive $1.3 trillion government spending bill — calling it an example of both sides in Congress coming “together in a non-acrimonious way.”
“I was pleased with what’s in this omnibus,” he declared, referring to the spending legislation.
But he took a gentle swipe at Trump for his funding ambitions for the border wall on the nation’s southern border to curb illegal immigration.
“He very much wanted money for this wall” in the funding bill, Schumer said, adding, however, “the amount he wanted was so large.”
“The president advisers showed him it was a good budget for the country,” Schumer added. “He’s a little new at it, he thought he could get everything and he didn’t.”
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