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Trump Touches on China Trade, Shutdown, Jobs in CBS Interview

Donald Trump

In a sweeping interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation, President Donald Trump touched on a variety of issues, including the economy and trade between the U.S. and China.

The president touted the January jobs report, which showed strong growth during the partial government shutdown, and promised a “good chance” of a deal with Beijing over tariffs.

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“We’ve put very massive tariffs on China. China is paying a big price and it’s hurt China’s economy very badly,” Trump told host Margaret Brennan, who had a few moments earlier asked about his work with North Korea over preventing nuclear weapons development, according to a transcript of the interview,

But, he added, “I want them to make a fair deal,” and he praised China’s prior role in helping the U.S. negotiate with, and put pressure on, North Korea. “It looks like we’re doing very well with making a deal with China. I can tell you this, no two leaders of this country and China have ever been closer than I am with President Xi. We have a good chance to make a deal. I don’t know that we’re going to make one, but we have a good chance. And if it is a deal it’s going to be a real deal. It’s not going to be a stopgap.”

In late December, Trump had agreed to leave the tariffs of some $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10% and not increase the rate to 25% as he had threatened. It’s believed the next moth is deadline time for deciding what will happen next. Coincidentally, China’s economic growth has puttered to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, as the nation reported Gross Domestic Product grew 6.4% from October to December of 2018, and 6.6 % for the year. It’s widely believed several factors have contributed to the slowdown.

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