Trump says U.S. is having “little squabble with China”

President Trump is leaving for Louisiana Tuesday to tour and speak at a liquefied natural gas export facility, as he touts the importance of American energy independence. But it’s his trade war with China that’s rattling the markets, as both the U.S. and China threaten to further hike tariffs. 

“We’re having a little squabble with China,” the president told reporters on the White House South Lawn Tuesday morning, adding that the U.S. has been treated very unfairly for years. The president said he’s looking “very strongly” at additional tariffs. 

Mr. Trump, who in the past called himself a “tariff man,” insists that increasing tariffs will put the pressure on China, although U.S. consumers pay the cost in the form of more expensive goods. 

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“China will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates, as always, in order to make up for the business they are, and will be, losing,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “If the Federal Reserve ever did a ‘match,’ it would be game over, we win! In any event, China wants a deal!”

The Trump administration listed $300 billion more of Chinese goods for possible tariff hikes while Beijing vowed Tuesday to “fight to the finish” in an escalating trade battle. The stock market may experience more volatility in response to fears about damage to global economic growth, analysts said.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office issued its target list after Beijing announced tariff hikes Monday on $60 billion of American goods in their spiraling dispute over Chinese technology ambitions and other irritants. Chinese authorities were reacting to President Donald Trump’s surprise decision last week to impose punitive duties on $200 billion of imports from China.

Mr. Trump called a New York Times report that his administration is considering sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to handle Iran if necessary fake news, claiming he’d send a lot more troops if that was actually the case.

“I think it’s fake news OK. Now would I do that? Absolutely,” the president said. But if he did send troops, it would be a “hell of a lot more” than that, the president told reporters.

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