President Donald Trump said Thursday that tariffs the U.S. has imposed are causing companies to flee China for elsewhere in Asia or the United States and that his trade policy is working.
The impact on the American consumer has been minimal, because prices haven't gone up much in the United States, he said.
"The tariffs are having a devastating effect on China," Trump said during a question-and-answer session with reporters as the president was leaving for a trip to Colorado.
"People are fleeing the country with their companies. These companies are leaving for Vietnam, other parts of Asia, and they’re even coming to the United States because then there’s no tariff."
China wants to make a trade deal, in the president's view.
"Because the companies are leaving China to avoid the tariffs. China is becoming a very weakened nation."
There was no immediate response from the Chinese government to Trump's remarks.
The Trump administration has raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. Earlier in May, Trump threatened to raise tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports.
China has been cautious in responding, threatening to cut off supplies of rare earth materials to the United States, but otherwise treading carefully.
Prices Largely Unaffected
Americans haven't felt much pain from the trade war with China, Trump said.
"The United States taxpayer’s paying for very little of it," he said. "And if you look at inflation, and if you look at pricing, it’s gone up very little."
The Federal Reserve has estimated that the initial round of higher tariffs raised consumer prices in the United States by about 0.1 percent, and a broader tariff increase could boost that to 0.4 percent.
Border Announcement Coming
Also on Thursday, Trump said he would have a "major announcement" Thursday or Friday about U.S. policy at the Mexican border and how the country treats immigrants crossing that border, though he refused to say what it would be.
"We are going to do something dramatic on the border," Trump said.
"Because people are coming into our country. The Democrats will not give us laws, they will not change laws. They will not meet, they will not do anything. They want to have open borders, they want to have crime, they want to have drugs pouring into our country. They want to have human trafficking."
Trump did rule out a complete border closure.
One possible approach could be tied to how immigrants who are apprehended are handled as they enter he asylum process. Trump hinted that was part of what he sees as the problem at the border.
"Right now, when you catch somebody, you have to release them," he said.
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