In the midst of the ongoing trade war between the world’s biggest economies, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believed President Donald Trump had to challenge China’s trade practices, yet noted that the steps he took might have been wrong.
“I think the president had to do something about it, I’m just not sure he went the right way,” the California Democrat told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in an interview Tuesday. “I think we should have done it multilaterally, with the EU and the rest.”
Over the last year, Trump has been pushing China to change what he and some lawmakers from both parties have called abusive trade practices, slapping tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese goods. The tariffs were followed by various retaliatory duties from Beijing.
Pelosi suggested that Trump should not have tried to address China’s practices in a way that could open the American agriculture industry and businesses from other sectors to risk.
“And what I would say is, whatever path he wanted to take to improve a trade relationship, do not empower the other side to hurt your farmers and your consumers,” she said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said he believes “there’ll be a deal maybe soon, maybe before the [November 2020] election or one day after the election.” Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, he warned that if a deal came together after the election, “it’ll be the toughest deal anybody’s ever had to make from the standpoint of China, and they know that.”
The president has repeatedly given assurances that the trade war with Beijing will not harm the economy or raise costs for consumers. However, he admitted last month that he delayed planned tariffs on some Chinese goods “for the Christmas season” in case “they might have an impact on people.”