A bullish President Donald Trump warned China of an even deeper trade war Wednesday ahead of a G20 summit where he will meet President Xi Jinping, saying China’s remaining imports are “ripe” for tariffs.
Markets are anxiously watching the Trump-Xi meeting, due Saturday, for a breakthrough in the dispute pitting the world’s two largest economies against each other.
Insisting that a strong negotiating hand means he has no need to give way, Trump did not especially seek to calm those nerves.
“China’s economy is going down the tubes — they want to make a deal,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business News just hours before taking off for the summit in Osaka, Japan.
Trump has already hit $200 billion of Chinese imports with levies in an effort to force Beijing into intellectual property protection and other reforms of a trading system that Washington says gives China huge unfair advantages.
On Wednesday, the president strongly indicated he was ready to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports — more than $300 billion worth.
“You have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet — it’s ripe for taxing, for putting tariffs on,” he told Fox.
According to Trump, it’s China that’s feeling all the pain.
“What is happening is people are moving out of China. Companies are moving out of China, by the way, some are coming back to the United States because they don’t want to pay the tariff,” he told Fox Business News.
Trump did say that a previous threat to tax this remaining segment at 25 percent could be changed to a less harsh 10 percent.
The two sides said they were close to a deal before talks broke down in May.
“We were about 90 percent of the way there,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC television, saying he was looking forward to the Trump-Xi talks but stressing there would be no “deal for having the sake of a deal.”
“I hope the message that we want to hear is that they want to come back to the table,” Mnuchin said.
– Trump on diplomatic warpath –
Trump’s aggressive attempt to rewrite the rules with China are part of a wider policy of fixing what he says is a system rigged against the United States.
“Almost all countries in this world take tremendous advantage of the United States. It’s unbelievable,” he said in the lengthy interview.
Casting his eye over the wider landscape, Trump also lashed out at close partners Vietnam, Germany and Japan.
Vietnam is “even worse than China” when it comes to unfair trading practices, he said. Vietnam is the “single worst abuser.”
He described Germany — part of the bedrock of the US alliance with western Europe — as “delinquent” for not paying enough to NATO’s budget.
“So Germany is paying Russia billions and billions of dollars for energy, okay,” he said. “So they are giving Russia billions of dollars yet we are supposed to protect Germany and Germany is delinquent! Okay?”
Trump aired a similar complaint about Japan, Washington’s closest ally in Asia, which has been under the protection of a US military umbrella since its defeat in World War II.
“If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III. We will go in and protect them with our lives and with our treasure,” he said. “But if we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us. They can watch it on a Sony television.”
Democrat who lived under a dictatorship explains why she believes it is time to impeach Trump
One of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who will be interviewing special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday explained to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell why she believes it is time to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) immigrated to the United States from Ecuador as a child. When Mucarsel-Powell was sworn-in to office following the 2018 midterm elections, she became the first Ecuadorian-American and first South American immigrant member of Congress.
"Most Americans don't have time to read a 448-page report," Mucarsel-Powell said. "We found substantial evidence that shows us that the president obstructed justice. "And I think it is critical for the American public to understand that and that’s why this hearing will be very important on Wednesday."
Watch Rachel Maddow broadcast ‘exclusive story’ that undermines Mike Pence’s claims
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Monday presented an "exclusive story" -- that undermines public claims by the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence has been among the biggest defenders of the detention camps the administration is running near the southern border.
Pence has described the treatment of detainees as "compassionate" and "excellent."
But that was not what Maddow reported on Monday.
"You haven’t seen this anywhere else," she introduced. "This is the first time this has been broadcast."
The story was an exclusive interview NBC News correspondent Julia Ainsley conducted with a child refugee from Guatemala who was held in one of the camps for eleven days.
WATCH: 10 videos show massive flooding hitting Brooklyn and New Jersey after torrential downpour
A massive flood is once again striking parts of New York City and New Jersey Monday as the heatwave gave way to a torrential downpour.
The storm moved through after 6 p.m. EST, dropping several inches of rain in a short period and causing immense flash flooding during rush hour. Commuters reported unusually large crowds on subway platforms, water flowing down subway stairs and huge leaks in the ceilings.
Airports were also dealing with the storm blowing through with time delays at LaGuardia, JFK and the Newark Airports.
Some folks took the flood in stride, bringing out pool toys to ride the waves: