US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has claimed he solved alleged “currency manipulation” by China through calling the country a “currency manipulator” and establishing good relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during an interview on the administration’s economic policy.
Asked about his negotiating tactics for free trade agreements by The Economist on Thursday, Trump declared that “since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.”
The president also fondly recounted his meeting with Xi in early April.
“I think I like him a lot. I think he likes me a lot,” he said, referring to bilateral meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach.
“[A] ten minute meeting turned out to be three hours. Dinner turned out to be three hours. I mean, he’s a great guy.”
Before being elected, Trump claimed he would label China a currency manipulator on Day One of his presidency and put a 45 percent tariff on imports from China, yet has subsequently backed away from this commitment.
“[Our] relationship with China is long. Of course by China standards, it’s very short,” he continued on Thursday. “When I’m with [Xi], he’s a great guy. He was telling me, you know they go back 8,000 years, we have 1776 is like modern history.”
Last month, Trump and Xi had a telephone conversation which the US President said was “very good” regarding how to deal with the “menace of North Korea.”
Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2017
“In the case of South Korea, we have a deal that was made by Hillary Clinton, it’s a horrible deal,” Trump said, noting that the trade agreement was coming up for the fifth year anniversary and that it would be re-negotiated.
“We don’t want a one-sided deal our way but we want fair deals. And if we can have fair deals our country is going to do very well.”
In his first interview with The Economist since taking office, the president was asked about the “Trumponomics” economic policy, immigration and healthcare alongside treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and the director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn.
During the interview, the president erroneously claimed that he had personally coined the term “prime the pump,” an economic term meaning to stimulate the economy typically attributed to influential economist John Maynard Keynes.
“I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good,” he said.