President-elect Trump remained true to his promise to hold foreign partners accountable for the effects of their one-sided trade policies in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday”.
“I fully understand the ‘One China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by [it] unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump said.
The decision to take a phone call — to intentionally set up a phone call, according to close advisor Newt Gingrich— diverged from traditional US diplomatic policy and ultimately led to a formal protest from China’s government. Up to that point, no US president or president-elect had dared to speak directly to a Taiwanese leader for fear of reprisal from China, who sees the country as a rogue satellite region and does not recognize it formally as an independent nation.
In the interview with Fox, however, Trump highlighted his belief that it was not up to Beijing to dictate whether he should have a conversation with Taiwan’s leadership.
“I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put into me,” President-elect Trump stated. “It was a very nice call…short. Why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?”
“I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”
In answering Wallace’s questions, Trump continued to emphasize the impact of China’s trade and foreign policy decision making on the United States. He indicated that he will not hesitate to frustrate China until the country agrees to renegotiate lopsided trade agreements and formally cuts ties with North Korea.
“I mean — look — we’re being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, taxing us heavy at the borders when we don’t tax them, with building a massive fortress in the middle of the South China Sea, which they shouldn’t be doing, and frankly with not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said.
“You have North Korea. You have nuclear weapons, and China could solve that problem, and they’re not helping us at all.”
It’s quite clear that, though still over a month away from entering office, Trump has decided not to waste any time in setting the stage for wholesale trade renegotiations around the world.
See the full FOX News Sunday interview with President-elect Trump below.