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Trump on North Korea, Wall Street regulation, tech stocks

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters in his office in Trump Tower, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK - Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday that he would be willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program.

He also called for a renegotiation of the Paris climate accord and said he would dismantle most of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations if he is elected president.

Here are excerpts of the interview.


On speaking to Kim Jong Un:

"I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him. At the same time, I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China. People don't realize that. They are extracting vast billions of dollars out of our country. Billions. And we have tremendous power over China. China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call."

Wall Street regulation

On breaking up big banks:

"The big banks aren't big banks compared to other big banks. In other words if you look at the big banks in Germany or if you look at the big banks in China, I have the biggest bank in the world right downstairs four or five floors below us. ... If we make our big banks too much not big, they won't be able to compete with the banks from China and the banks from Germany and other big banks."

On repealing Dodd-Frank:

"I'm going to be making a statement about this in approximately two weeks having to do with Dodd-Frank. Much of it is very bad. Much of it gives so much power to the regulators that the bankers are unable to function."

"Dodd Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function. ... It makes it very hard for bankers to loan money for people to create jobs, for people with businesses to create jobs. And that has to stop. And will there be bad loans made? Yes, but there are bad loans made now with Dodd-Frank, OK, I mean all you have to do is take a look."

"The rules and regulations of Dodd Frank have made it so impossible to carry out business and to, especially with respect to lending to businesses who are going to employ a lot of people. So I'm going to make a statement about it. But Dodd-Frank – I mean there are some things in Dodd-Frank that can stay but overall Dodd-Frank has been very bad."


On tech stocks:

"You have a stock market that is very strange. Could be a little bit similar to, would you say it's nine years ago now? I guess it's sort of nine years ago. But you know, you look at some of these tech stocks that are so, so weak as a concept and a company and they're selling for so much money. And I would have said can that ever happen again? I think that could happen again."

"I'm talking about companies that have never made any money, that have a bad concept and that are valued at billions of dollars. So here we go again."


On auditing the Fed:

"I think number one, the Federal Reserve should be audited. You know, they're not auditing it. And so far not too many people have been able to tell me why. I'm not one that says we should get rid of the Federal Reserve because I think the Federal Reserve has an important function, but it should certainly be audited and ... we should at least watch what they're doing from the dollar standpoint."

On timing for an audit:

"It's not my highest priority. I have other priorities like rebuild our military. ... It's not my number one priority. But certainly it's one of the things that we'll be doing."

On replacing Fed Chair Janet Yellen:

"I'm not a person that thinks Janet Yellen is doing a bad job. I happen to be a low interest rate person, unless inflation rears its ugly head, which could happen at some point. It doesn't seem like it's happening any time soon. I don't think I want to at this point - I mean, number one, she's got time left."

"I would rather have a Republican in the position, but I am not the enemy of Janet Yellen. ... Look, if interest rates were raised and if the dollar went up more, we'd be doing no business. We're being killed by other countries devaluing their currencies."


On the Paris accords:

"Not a big fan. No. Not a big fan because other countries don't adhere to it and China doesn't adhere to it, and China's spewing into the atmosphere."

"Take a look at China with certain agreements where they have to do it within 30 years, and we have to do it almost immediately. You understand what I mean by that? The agreements are not fair agreements, number one. And I would say that I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum, I will be renegotiating those agreements. At a minimum. Ok? And at a maximum, I may do something else. But those agreements are one-sided agreements, and they're bad for the United States."

(Compiled by Alana Wise, Emily Stephenson and Caren Bohan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)