President Trump said that tariffs and the threat of tariffs have been a great bargaining chip in trade deals.
Stephanopoulos had access to President Trump for an interview over two days, with the news anchor spending 30 hours with the president. The episode, titled "President Trump - 30 Hours," aired on June 16.
Stephanopoulos told Trump that his supporters are concerned about how the tariffs affect farmers, saying that Americans pay the tariffs imposed on foreign countries.
“If we didn't have tariffs as—it's a somewhat punitive measure," Trump tells Stephanopoulos. "But if we didn't have tariffs, we wouldn't be able to speak to China. And I'm taking—out of the billions of dollars that China's paying, I'm taking $16 billion out to give to farmers because that's what they lost because of China. And I'm making it up. And I'm taking it—it all comes out of the tariffs that I'm collecting.”
“Well, Americans are paying those tariffs,” Stephanopoulos says.
“No, they're not," Trump retorts. "Because China subsidizes their product in order to keep people working. And the companies—most of the companies, many of the companies are moving out of China to areas that are tariff free, where they're non-tariff. So there is no tariff. And many of them are coming back to America.”
Trump again assures Stephanopoulos that tariffs will not hurt the American farmer.
“People don't understand tariffs, but I understand them. And I also understand the power of tariffs. And because of that, the farmer is going to be a big beneficiary in the end. But we gave $16 billion to the farmers. And all of that money came out of tariffs that we got from China,” Trump says.
Stephanopoulos asks Trump if he will have to set more tariffs on China.
“I don't mind doing it. I mean, it's a tremendous amount of money. We have—right now, we're getting 25 percent on $250 billion. And in the end, we're going to get probably 25 percent or so. And it could be even increased. But 25 percent on $550-$585 billion. That's hundreds of billions of dollars coming into our country. We never got 10 cents from China,” Trump says.
Stephanopoulos again expresses how he thinks tariffs imposed on another country are going to impact Americans financially.
“But if it's Americans who are paying it…” Stephanopoulos begins to say.
“No, it's not," Trump responds, explaining how China makes unfair financial deals with other countries. "George, China is subsidizing their product so that the product stays competitive so that they can keep selling. Not that they want to, but that's the way they're going to sell it.”
“The tariffs have been very beneficial,” Trump tells Stephanopoulos.
“A president of the United States has never come to our city to announce that he's running for president of the United States of America, let alone the state of Florida,” said Charles Hart, chair of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee, via WFTV.