Sunday, when President Trump said he had 2nd thoughts about escalating the trade dispute with China, he meant that he wished he had raised tariffs on Beijing even higher, the White House said.
President Trump, who announced higher tariffs on Chinese goods last week, raised eyebrows during a meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson at the G-7 when he responded in the affirmative to questions from reporters on whether he had any 2nd thoughts about the tariff move.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham sought to explain the remark.
“His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” she said in a statement.
During his meeting with PM Johnson Sunday in France, President Trump was asked if he had 2nd thoughts about his latest escalation made on Friday..
“Yeah, sure. Why not?” he said.
The reporter repeated the question and President Trump replied: “Might as well. Might as well.”
A 2nd reporter followed up again, asking if he had 2nd thoughts about escalating the trade dispute with China.
“I have second thoughts about everything,” President Trump responded.
On Friday, responding to China’s tariff move, the President said he was ordering US companies to find alternatives to doing business in China and move operations back to the United States.
Asked Sunday if he would declare a national emergency over the issue, President Trump said he had the right to do so but had no plans in the works.