Vice President Mike Pence said that President Trump’s administration won’t back down from its ongoing trade dispute with China, claiming that if it takes a cold war to get a new deal done, “then so be it.”
“We really believe we are in a strong position either way. We are at $250 billion [in tariffs] now; we can more than double that,” Pence said Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s a matter of promises. We’re looking for results. We’re looking for a change of posture.”
The Trump administration has slowly levied tariffs on Chinese imports to squeeze out demands from the Chinese government in its goal of solidifying a more “free and fair” trade deal between the two nations. Trump wants to secure a new deal that would stop Chinese manufacturers from stealing U.S. intellectual property, thwart the counterfeiting of U.S. goods, and halt other practices that undercut U.S. economic interests, such as currency manipulation.
Pence said that he thinks China knows the administration is serious about what it is doing.
“They know what our administration’s position is. They know what the president’s position is,” Pence said. The vice president said he believes the Chinese have “got the message.”
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow has consistently said the administration’s approach is working, arguing that the Chinese economy is experiencing serious distress in the wake of the U.S.-imposed tariffs.
The president is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit at the end of November, kicking off the first round of high-level talks since negotiations between the two nations stalled in recent weeks.