Donald Trump Vows to Get Tough With Tariffs Again if Reelected, Says China Is 'the Boss of the United States'

By Jace Dela Cruz

Mar 12, 2024 01:19 AM EDT

Former President Donald Trump hinted at implementing stricter tariffs on foreign goods if he secures a second term, citing economic and political benefits from targeting foreign goods entering the US. 

ROME, GEORGIA - MARCH 09: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally at the Forum River Center March 09, 2024 in Rome, Georgia.
(Photo : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Reiterates Support for Tariffs

During an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Donald Trump reiterated his support for duties on foreign goods, emphasizing economic benefits and its role in empowering the US in international negotiations. 

Trump's remarks come amid a competitive electoral environment, with the former president emerging as the presumptive Republican nominee. As the presidential race heats up, Trump's economic policies, including tariffs, are expected to be a focal point of his campaign.

Throughout his previous term, Trump imposed tariffs on various countries, including China, Mexico, and the European Union, focusing on industries like steel and aluminum. Despite some changes in policy under the Biden administration, tariffs on Chinese goods remain largely intact.

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Donald Trump: 'China is Right Now Our Boss'

Donald Trump recalled his decision to impose tariffs on Chinese steel, attributing it to protecting the struggling US steel industry from foreign competition.

"I put a 50% tax on China's steel coming in. And every person in the steel industry, when they see me they started crying. They would hug me," the former president said in the interview. 

"China is right now our boss. They are the boss of the United States, almost like we're a subsidiary of China," he added.

Trump also suggested future tariffs targeting specific Chinese products, particularly vehicles. He emphasized the need to incentivize manufacturing within the US rather than relying on imports. His stance on tariffs is rooted in his belief that they encourage domestic production and job creation.

Trump argued that imposing tariffs on Chinese goods would compel companies to relocate manufacturing operations to the US, boosting employment opportunities. 

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