(CNSNews.com) - In a lengthy discussion with reporters on Tuesday, President Trump was asked about "your trade war with China" and worries that it is negatively affecting the U.S. economy.
"We're doing very well as an economy," Trump said. "But somebody had to take China on."
"I took it on. And it should've been done by previous presidents, but I took it on. And I'm happy to do it because it had to be done. And the smart people say thank you very much and the dumb people have no idea.
"And then you have the political people, and they go with the wind, but they all know. Even Senator Schumer said, wow, Trump's doing a great job with China. I couldn't believe that."
Trump's explanation was lengthy, and the full transcript is printed below:
Number one, we're doing very well as an economy. But somebody had to take China on. You know, I read and I see so much and I read so much, and I'll see these economists say oh, give up. Give up on China. Give up.
China has been ripping this country off for 25 years, for longer than that. And it's about time, whether it's good for our country or bad for our country, short-term, long-term it's imperative that somebody does this because our country cannot continue to pay China $500 billion a year because stupid people are running it.
So I don't mind this question. Whether it's good or bad short term is irrelevant. We have to solve the problem with China because they are taking out $500 billion a year plus and that doesn't include intellectual property theft and other things and also national security.
So I am doing this whether it's good or bad for your--your statement about oh, will we fall into a recession for two months, okay? The fact is somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier if I didn't take China on, but I like doing it because I have to do it, and we're getting great results. China has had the worst year they've had in 27 years and a lot of people are saying the worst year they've had in 54 years, okay?
And frankly, I don't want that to happen, but it does put us in a good negotiating position, doesn't it? And China wants to make a deal, and that's good. But they have to make a deal that's fair to us. It can't be a deal that's not fair to us.
And you should be happy that I'm fighting this, and I'm fighting this battle, because somebody had to do it. We couldn't let this--I don't even think it's sustainable to let go on what was happening. They were stealing all of our intellectual property, ideas, the theft was incredible. They call it intellectual property theft and they value it at $300 billion a year. Who knows how they value it. I know how to value dollars. I don't know how to value intellectual property theft.
But they have experts that say it's at least $300 billion a year where they steal it. Somebody had to do something with China. Obama should have done it, Bush should have done it, Clinton should have done it. They all should've done it. Nobody did it. I'm doing it.
So what do you say? Oh, my trade deals are causing them. My trade deals aren't causing a problem. --This is something that had to be done. The only difference is I'm doing it. I could be sitting here right now with the stock market that would be up 10,000 points higher if I didn't want to do it, but I think we have no choice but to do it.
And a lot of people that really know, people that love our country, they're saying thank you very much for taking it on, and we're winning because they're having the worst year they've had in decades and it's only going to get worse. China's lost 2 million jobs in the last month and a half because they're moving -- the people, the companies are moving to non-tariff countries.
They've lost over 2 million jobs in a very short period of time. They're going to lose a lot more jobs. And if I didn't help certain companies that are American companies, like Apple, for a very short period of time, I may help them, only until they do what they have to do, which is probably move from China because this would be a very short term. If I didn't them--they would--I mean, they would be--they would have a big problem.
Here's the thing. Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically. We're winning big. I took it on. And it should've been done by previous presidents, but I took it on. And I'm happy to do it because it had to be done. And the smart people say thank you very much and the dumb people have no idea. And then you have the political people, and they go with the wind, but they all know.
Even Senator Schumer said, wow, Trump's doing a great job with China. I couldn't believe that. But, Schumer thinks I'm doing the right thing and he's doing the right thing by saying it, because he knows that China was a big economic threat. And they were taking all of that money that they were making from us and they were building planes and ships and a lot of other things and we can't let that happen.