President Donald J. Trump and US-Asia Pacific Relations

Share this:

Coordinator: Sarah Wang. For methodology, click here.

This resource will track statements, developments, visits and other interactions in US-Asia Pacific relations given or undertaken by President Donald J. Trump.

To view quotations, debriefs of interactions with Asia Pacific leaders, and media sorted by topic, scroll down or use the links below. To view those made by President Trump in 2017, visit this page for a historical list

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries Asia Pacific Leaders Asia Pacific Allies & Partners
China/Taiwan Human Rights & Democracy North Korea
South China Sea Southeast Asia/ASEAN Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN
Trade & Investment    

To view the positions of President Trump, Vice President Pence, United States Trade Representative Lighthizer, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Secretary of Commerce Ross on various issues in US-Asia Pacific relations, click here.

To view quotations, interviews, and policy documents given by and interactions with Asia Pacific leaders undertaken by Vice President Pence, United States Trade Representative Lighthizer, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Commerce Ross use the links below.

Vice President Mike Pence United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer
Secretary of Defense James Mattis Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.  

To examine Asian reactions to ongoing developments in US-Asia relations and the US 2016 Presidential election, click here.

To explore previous quotations, views on Asia Pacific issues, and other connections to Asia from President Trump, Vice President  Pence, and other candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election, click here. 

Travel to Asia Pacific Countries 

 

For a historical list of countries traveled to in 2017, click here.

Asia Pacific Leaders

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday evening with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments in North Korea and to continue their close coordination ahead of President Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Trump said he looks forward to continuing their conversation when President Moon visits the White House on May 22." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. May 20, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 11, 2018] with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.  President Trump thanked Prime Minister Lee for his willingness to host President Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two leaders also discussed regional security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. President Trump and Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed the relationship between the United States and Singapore, which has been one of the United States’ closest partnerships in Asia for more than 50 years. President Trump said that he looks forward to seeing Prime Minister Lee in Singapore soon." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. May 11, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [May 9, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The two leaders discussed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, and agreed to continue close coordination in advance of the President’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  The President and Prime Minister committed to maintaining trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea, and also affirmed the shared goal of North Korea abandoning its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. May 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 9, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. The two leaders welcomed North Korea’s decision to release three American detainees, and expressed hope for joyful family reunions. President Trump noted he is looking forward to welcoming President Moon back to the White House on May 22." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. May 9, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [April 28, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss the April 27 meeting between President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  President Trump thanked President Moon for the close coordination between the Republic of Korea and the United States in the lead-up to his meeting, and committed to remain in close contact in the coming weeks.  The two leaders agreed that the unprecedented pressure applied by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and the international community through the global Maximum Pressure Campaign has led to this significant moment.  President Trump and President Moon emphasized that a peaceful and prosperous future for North Korea is contingent upon its complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. April 28, 2018 
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [April 28, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The leaders affirmed their commitment to achieving the permanent and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and to continuing their close coordination in advance of talks between the United States and North Korea.  They also reiterated the need for North Korea to abandon all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.  Finally, President Trump noted that he will urge North Korea to promptly resolve its abductions of Japanese citizens." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. April 28, 2018
  • "On April 17-18 at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald J. Trump and [Japanese] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their third meeting and affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of the U.S.-Japan Alliance to confront all emerging threats to peace, stability, and an international order based on the rule of law. The two leaders expressed their joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and an enhanced U.S.-Japan economic relationship." [Source] President Donald J. Trump's Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. April 18, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 16, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss ongoing efforts to prepare for their upcoming engagements with North Korea.  Both leaders affirmed the importance of learning from the mistakes of the past, and pledged continued, close coordination to maintain maximum pressure on the North Korean regime.  The two leaders agreed that concrete actions, not words, will be the key to achieving permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and President Trump reiterated his intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May.  The two leaders expressed cautious optimism over recent developments and emphasized that a brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the correct path." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. March 16, 2018
  • "Just this week, we secured a wonderful deal with South Korea.  We were in a deal that was a horror show.  It was going to produce 200,000 jobs, and it did — for them.  That was a Hillary Clinton special, I hate to say.  “This will produce 200,000 jobs.”  She was right, but it was for them.  It wasn’t for us. So we’ve redone it, and that’s going to level the playing field on steel and cars and trucks coming into this country.  (Applause.) And I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea.  Does everybody understand that?  Do you know why?  Right?  Do you know why?  Because it’s a very strong card, and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly and we’re moving along very nicely with North Korea.  We’ll see what happens.  Certainly the rhetoric has calmed down just a little bit, would you say?  (Applause.)  Would you say? And we’ll see how it all turns out.  Maybe it will be good, and maybe it won’t.  And if it’s no good, we’re walking.  And if it’s good, we will embrace it.  But it’s going to be very interesting over the next period of time.  And South Korea has been wonderful, but we’ll probably hold that deal up for a little while.  See how it all plays out." [SourceRemarks by President Trump on the Infrastructure Initiative. March 30, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 9, 2018] with President Xi Jinping of China about recent developments related to North Korea.  The two leaders welcomed the prospect of dialogue between the United States and North Korea, and committed to maintain pressure and sanctions until North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.  President Trump expressed his hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might choose a brighter path for North Korea’s future." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of China. March 9, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan [on March 8, 2018] to discuss the situation in North Korea and to continue the close coordination between our two countries. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe assessed that the maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this critical juncture. The leaders affirmed their strong intention to continue close trilateral coordination with South Korea to maintain pressure and enforce international sanctions until such point that North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. President Trump expressed his hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation signals his desire to give the North Korean people a brighter future." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. March 8, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 1, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to congratulate him on the success of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.  President Trump thanked President Moon for his hospitality to the United States Presidential Delegations to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies led by Vice President Mike Pence and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, respectively.  President Moon briefed President Trump on developments regarding North Korea and inter-Korean talks.  President Trump and President Moon noted their firm position that any dialogue with North Korea must be conducted with the explicit and unwavering goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.  The two leaders committed to maintain close coordination." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. March 1, 2018
  • "The American-Australian alliance is rock solid and based on a common purpose: to promote peace and prosperity.  Our friendship is underpinned by a deep alignment of interests and our societies’ shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.  We recognize that it is more important than ever to defend our interests, values, and way of life. We agree that the world in which we live is contested, and that it is more important than ever to defend our common values and way of life. We are committed to fostering an Indo-Pacific region where all countries abide by international law. Together, we intend to continue to protect the integrity of our institutions and to counter threats we face, whether they stem from terrorism, cyber activity, or transnational crime. And we remain united in our resolve to confront the most serious threat to peace in our region—the North Korean regime’s illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons. Across the Indo-Pacific, our two nations are committed to deepening our engagement with our allies and all partners. We reaffirm our commitment to seek all opportunities to strengthen our alliance through practical initiatives that implement our shared objectives." [Source] Joint Statement by United States Presdient Donald J. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. February 23, 2018

To read the fact sheet following the President's and Prime Minister's bilateral meeting, click here

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 14, 2018] with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam to reaffirm their shared commitment to strengthening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership.  President Trump and President Quang discussed the regional security environment and the growing bilateral defense relationship between their two countries, including the upcoming visit by the United States aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and pledged to deepen and expand bilateral trade that is fair and reciprocal." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam. February 14, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 8, 2018] with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. The leaders pledged to continue working together to enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Affirming President Trump’s South Asia strategy, they reiterated their commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s security and stability. Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law. They also exchanged views on Burma and ways to address the plight of the Rohingya refugees. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi then discussed further steps to ensure denuclearization of North Korea. Finally, the leaders agreed to strengthen security and economic cooperation as they look forward to the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between their defense and diplomatic officials in April." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Narendra Modi of India. February 8, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 2, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  President Trump thanked Prime Minister Abe for Japan’s efforts to maintain international pressure on North Korea, including recent efforts to clamp down on North Korea’s attempts to circumvent sanctions in the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula.  Both leaders agreed on the need to intensify the international maximum pressure campaign to denuclearize North Korea.  The two leaders discussed the pending relocation of a United States Marine base on Okinawa and discussed ways to strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities including an expanded missile defense system." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. February 2, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 2, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to wish him and the Korean people a successful Winter Olympic Games.  The two leaders discussed the importance of improving the human rights situation in North Korea and underscored their commitment to work together on this issue.  President Trump also reiterated his commitment to addressing the trade imbalance between the two countries." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In. February 2, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 10, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea.  President Moon briefed President Trump on the outcomes of the discussions between North and South Korea on January 9 and thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible.  The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea.  President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.  President Trump told President Moon that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea [South Korea]. January 10, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 4, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past.  The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics.  The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. January 4, 2018

For a historical list of meetings with Asia Pacific leaders in 2017, click here.

Asia Pacific Allies & Partners

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday evening with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments in North Korea and to continue their close coordination ahead of President Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Trump said he looks forward to continuing their conversation when President Moon visits the White House on May 22." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. May 20, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 11, 2018] with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.  President Trump thanked Prime Minister Lee for his willingness to host President Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two leaders also discussed regional security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. President Trump and Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed the relationship between the United States and Singapore, which has been one of the United States’ closest partnerships in Asia for more than 50 years. President Trump said that he looks forward to seeing Prime Minister Lee in Singapore soon." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. May 11, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [May 9, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The two leaders discussed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, and agreed to continue close coordination in advance of the President’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  The President and Prime Minister committed to maintaining trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea, and also affirmed the shared goal of North Korea abandoning its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. May 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 9, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. The two leaders welcomed North Korea’s decision to release three American detainees, and expressed hope for joyful family reunions. President Trump noted he is looking forward to welcoming President Moon back to the White House on May 22." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. May 9, 2018
  • "No.  No.  And we haven’t been asked to [withdraw US troops from South Korea].  Now, I have to tell you, at some point into the future, I would like to save the money.  You know, we have 32,000 troops there [South Korea].  But I think a lot of great things will happen.  But troops are not on the table [during negotiations with North Korea]. Absolutely." [SourceRemarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure. May 4, 2018
  • "On behalf of the United States, First Lady Melania and I join the people of Australia in remembrance and reflection for the 76th Commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea.  The engagement in the Coral Sea from May 4 to 8, 1942, holds a unique place in the joint history of our two great nations.  Seventy-six years ago, Americans and Australians fought side-by-side to hold back a powerful adversary in the Pacific.  During that battle, over 600 service members lost their lives for the cause of freedom.  We remember those brave souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and honor the memory of the thousands who fought in this critical battle that laid the foundation of the eventual allied victory in World War II.  The alliance and sense of shared sacrifice formed on those waters also paved the way for the signing of the Australia, New Zealand, and United States Security Treaty in 1951. The steadfast alliance between the United States and Australia remains a bedrock for security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. Seventy-six years after the Battle of the Coral Sea, our countries remain committed to our common values and still share an extraordinary bond.  We are grateful to our Australian partners as we continue to fight for peace, security, and prosperity around the world." [Source] Presidential Message in Commemoration of the 76th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. May 3, 2018
  • "Today [April 30, 2018], President Donald J. Trump issued two proclamations authorizing modifications of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.  The Administration has reached a final agreement with South Korea on steel imports, the outlines of which were previously announced by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Republic of Korea Minister for Trade Hyun-chong Kim.  The Administration has also reached agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil with respect to steel and aluminum, the details of which will be finalized shortly." [Source] President Donald J. Trump Approves Section 232 Tariff Modifications. April 30, 2018 

Read the Presidential Proclamation on aluminum tariffs here

Read the Presidential Proclamation on steel tariffs here

  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China and Japan, including exports and trade deficits. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, US support of the Olympics in South Korea, and  the status of ongoing negotiations with North Korea to curb its nuclear threat. [Source] Clipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [April 28, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss the April 27 meeting between President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  President Trump thanked President Moon for the close coordination between the Republic of Korea and the United States in the lead-up to his meeting, and committed to remain in close contact in the coming weeks.  The two leaders agreed that the unprecedented pressure applied by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and the international community through the global Maximum Pressure Campaign has led to this significant moment.  President Trump and President Moon emphasized that a peaceful and prosperous future for North Korea is contingent upon its complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. April 28, 2018 
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [April 28, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The leaders affirmed their commitment to achieving the permanent and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and to continuing their close coordination in advance of talks between the United States and North Korea.  They also reiterated the need for North Korea to abandon all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.  Finally, President Trump noted that he will urge North Korea to promptly resolve its abductions of Japanese citizens." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. April 28, 2018
  • "On the occasion of this week’s meeting between President Moon and Kim Jong-un, I want to express my hope that all of the people of Korea — North Korea and South — can someday live in harmony, prosperity, and peace. And it looks like it could happen. When I began, people were saying that was an impossibility. They said there were two alternatives: Let them have what they have or go to war. And now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible. I’ll be meeting with Kim Jong-un in the coming weeks as we seek to denuclearize the North Korean area and the entire Korean Peninsula. Hopefully, the day will come when Olympic athletes can compete on a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons, and where all Koreans can live together and can share their dreams. It would be a wonderful thing to do." [Source] Remarks by President Trump Welcoming the U.S. Olympic Team. April 27, 2018
  • "What we’re going to be doing now mostly is trade.  As the Prime Minister knows, they’ve done very well with the United States.  We have a very big deficit, and we’re going to weed that down and hopefully get a balance at some point in the not-too-distant future.  But we have a massive deficit with Japan. We will, I believe, at the end of a fairly short period of time, be able to do certain things.  I know they’re ordering large numbers of airplanes — both jet fighters and passenger planes — and it’s in the tens of billions of dollars.  And they’ll not only get the best plane, but will help with the process of equalization." [SourcePresident Donald J. Trump's Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. April 18, 2018
  • "On April 17-18 at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald J. Trump and [Japanese] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their third meeting and affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of the U.S.-Japan Alliance to confront all emerging threats to peace, stability, and an international order based on the rule of law. The two leaders expressed their joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and an enhanced U.S.-Japan economic relationship." [SourcePresident Donald J. Trump's Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. April 18, 2018
  • "South Korea’s meetings with North Korea are very much in coordination with us.  We’re in consultation with them constantly.  Our relationship with South Korea is a very good one.  In fact, we’re in the midst of negotiating a new and better, perhaps for both sides, trade deal.  Because right now it’s an unfair deal, frankly, to the United States.  But what else is new.  All of them are.  But we are going to finalize a new deal fairly soon.  We probably could have it done already if I wanted to have it done.  But we are in very close communication and coordination with South Korea with their upcoming meetings, and even their current talks with North Korea. And as I said before, the war has never ended.  If we can do something even before the meeting — the big planned meeting — that would be fine.  But we’re dealing very closely with South Korea.  They’re the ones that came and told us about the original meeting that they want to meet with me, they want to meet with the United States, specifically.  We have not picked a site yet, but we’ve picked five sites where it’s potentially going to be.  We’ll let you know fairly soon." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Restricted Bilateral Meeting. April 17, 2018
  • "Japan and ourselves are locked, and we are very unified on the subject of North Korea.  We will probably be — depending on various meetings and conversations, we’ll be having meetings with Kim Jong-un very soon.  It will be — that will be taking place probably in early June or a little before that — assuming things go well.  It’s possible things won’t go well and we won’t have the meetings, and we’ll just continue to go along this very strong path that we’ve taken.  But we will see what happens. Tomorrow, we’ll have further discussions on trade, on North Korea, on our military.  Japan is buying a tremendous amount of military equipment from the United States, which is good.  And as you know, we’re buying a lot of cars and a lot of other things from Japan.  But we are each buying a lot.  But we still have to talk about trade, and the Prime Minister understands that." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting | Mar-a-Lago, FL. April 17, 2018
  • "Steel, we have taken the tariff off some countries when we’ve been able to renegotiate deals.  For instance, in South Korea, when they heard they had to pay 25 percent tariff on steel coming in, they went absolutely crazy and we made a deal.  The KORUS deal is now pretty much concluded.  And we really made that, I would say, Bob, largely because of the fact that they did not like the fact that they were having to pay tariffs on steel." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "In recent years, Americans have watched as Washington spent trillions and trillions of dollars building up foreign countries while allowing our own country’s infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair.  Look at Korea.  We have a border at Korea.  We have a wall of soldiers.  We don’t get paid very much for this, do we? We have — you look at that.  Nobody comes through.  But our own border, we don’t take care of it.  Think of it.  We spend billions of dollars in other countries maintaining their borders, and we can’t maintain our borders in our own country.  Is there something a little bit wrong with that?  (Laughter.) Think of it.  We spend billions and billions of dollars.  Look, North and South Korea — 32,000 soldiers, the finest equipment, barbed wire all over the place.  We protect that whole thing.  Nobody comes through.  But our country, we don’t do it. Things are changing, folks.  But now is the time to rebuild our country, to take care of our people, and to fight for our great American workers for a change." [Source] Remarks by President Trump on the Infrastructure Initiative. March 30, 2018
  • "Just this week, we secured a wonderful deal with South Korea.  We were in a deal that was a horror show.  It was going to produce 200,000 jobs, and it did — for them.  That was a Hillary Clinton special, I hate to say.  “This will produce 200,000 jobs.”  She was right, but it was for them.  It wasn’t for us. So we’ve redone it, and that’s going to level the playing field on steel and cars and trucks coming into this country.  (Applause.) And I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea.  Does everybody understand that?  Do you know why?  Right?  Do you know why?  Because it’s a very strong card, and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly and we’re moving along very nicely with North Korea.  We’ll see what happens.  Certainly the rhetoric has calmed down just a little bit, would you say?  (Applause.)  Would you say? And we’ll see how it all turns out.  Maybe it will be good, and maybe it won’t.  And if it’s no good, we’re walking.  And if it’s good, we will embrace it.  But it’s going to be very interesting over the next period of time.  And South Korea has been wonderful, but we’ll probably hold that deal up for a little while.  See how it all plays out." [SourceRemarks by President Trump on the Infrastructure Initiative. March 30, 2018
  • "The tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the following countries are suspended until May 1, 2018, pending discussions of satisfactory long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to U.S. national security:

    • Argentina;
    • Australia;
    • Brazil;
    • Canada;
    • Mexico;
    • the member countries of the European Union; and
    • South Korea.

    By May 1, 2018, the President will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs, based on the status of the discussions. " [SourcePresident Trump Approves Section 232 Tariff Modifications. March 22, 2018

  • "The United States is continuing discussions with Canada and Mexico, as well as the following countries, on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of steel articles from those countries: the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia), the Argentine Republic (Argentina), the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil), and the European Union (EU) on behalf of its member countries.  Each of these countries has an important security relationship with the United States and I have determined that the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports from steel articles from these countries is to continue these discussions and to exempt steel articles imports from these countries from the tariff, at least at this time." [SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States. March 22, 2018 
  • "The United States has an important security relationship with South Korea, including our shared commitment to eliminating the North Korean nuclear threat; our decades-old military alliance; our shared commitment to addressing global excess capacity in aluminum production; and our strong economic and strategic partnership." [Source] Presidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • "The United States has an important security relationship with Australia, including our shared commitment to supporting each other in addressing national security concerns, particularly through our security, defense, and intelligence partnership; the strong economic and strategic partnership between our countries; our shared commitment to addressing global excess capacity in aluminum production; and the integration of Australian persons and organizations into the national technology and industrial base of the United States." [SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • "The United States is continuing discussions with Canada and Mexico, as well as the following countries, on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of aluminum articles from those countries: the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia), the Argentine Republic (Argentina), the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil), and the European Union (EU) on behalf of its member countries.  Each of these countries has an important security relationship with the United States and I have determined that the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports from aluminum articles from these countries is to continue these discussions and to exempt aluminum articles imports from these countries from the tariff, at least at this time." [SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • On March 16, 2018 President Trump signed H.R. 535, the “Taiwan Travel Act,” into law "which encourages visits between officials of the United States and Taiwan at all levels." [Source
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 16, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss ongoing efforts to prepare for their upcoming engagements with North Korea.  Both leaders affirmed the importance of learning from the mistakes of the past, and pledged continued, close coordination to maintain maximum pressure on the North Korean regime.  The two leaders agreed that concrete actions, not words, will be the key to achieving permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and President Trump reiterated his intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May.  The two leaders expressed cautious optimism over recent developments and emphasized that a brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the correct path." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. March 16, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan [on March 8, 2018] to discuss the situation in North Korea and to continue the close coordination between our two countries. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe assessed that the maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this critical juncture. The leaders affirmed their strong intention to continue close trilateral coordination with South Korea to maintain pressure and enforce international sanctions until such point that North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. President Trump expressed his hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation signals his desire to give the North Korean people a brighter future." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. March 8, 2018
  • "I'm renegotiating trade deals. There are no trade deals ever negotiated that have been bad like the trade deals we've had negotiated whether it's NAFTA, the deal with South Korea, TPP -- I was able to keep us out of that, that would have been a total disaster. The World Trade Organization deal, that's what really led to the emergence of China -- you look at China, they became rich when they made the World Trade Deal. The World Trade Organization, WTO. We have to change it. We can't allow our workers, our country, our companies to be ripped off like this, and they understand that." [SourceInterivew with Judge Jeanine on Fox. February 24, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 1, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to congratulate him on the success of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.  President Trump thanked President Moon for his hospitality to the United States Presidential Delegations to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies led by Vice President Mike Pence and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, respectively.  President Moon briefed President Trump on developments regarding North Korea and inter-Korean talks.  President Trump and President Moon noted their firm position that any dialogue with North Korea must be conducted with the explicit and unwavering goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.  The two leaders committed to maintain close coordination." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. March 1, 2018
  • "The American-Australian alliance is rock solid and based on a common purpose: to promote peace and prosperity.  Our friendship is underpinned by a deep alignment of interests and our societies’ shared commitment to the values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.  We recognize that it is more important than ever to defend our interests, values, and way of life. We agree that the world in which we live is contested, and that it is more important than ever to defend our common values and way of life. We are committed to fostering an Indo-Pacific region where all countries abide by international law. Together, we intend to continue to protect the integrity of our institutions and to counter threats we face, whether they stem from terrorism, cyber activity, or transnational crime. And we remain united in our resolve to confront the most serious threat to peace in our region—the North Korean regime’s illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons. Across the Indo-Pacific, our two nations are committed to deepening our engagement with our allies and all partners. We reaffirm our commitment to seek all opportunities to strengthen our alliance through practical initiatives that implement our shared objectives." [SourceJoint Statement by United States President Donald J. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. February 23, 2018 

To read the fact sheet following the President's and Prime Minister's bilateral meeting, click here

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 14, 2018] with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam to reaffirm their shared commitment to strengthening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership.  President Trump and President Quang discussed the regional security environment and the growing bilateral defense relationship between their two countries, including the upcoming visit by the United States aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and pledged to deepen and expand bilateral trade that is fair and reciprocal." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam. February 14, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 8, 2018] with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. The leaders pledged to continue working together to enhance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Affirming President Trump’s South Asia strategy, they reiterated their commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s security and stability. Both leaders expressed concern about the political crisis in Maldives and the importance of respect for democratic institutions and rule of law. They also exchanged views on Burma and ways to address the plight of the Rohingya refugees. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi then discussed further steps to ensure denuclearization of North Korea. Finally, the leaders agreed to strengthen security and economic cooperation as they look forward to the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between their defense and diplomatic officials in April." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Narendra Modi of India. February 8, 2018
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "But I’ll tell you, you know, when you talk about driving a wedge, we also have a thing called trade. And South Korea—brilliantly makes—we have a trade deficit with South Korea of $31 billion a year. That’s a pretty strong bargaining chip to me." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [Responding to a question regarding if it would send a message of backing down to North Korea to delay the military exercises normally scheduled during this time with South Korea] "No, I think it’s inappropriate to have the Olympics, have millions of people going to the Olympics hopefully, have North Korea going to the Olympics, and we’re having exercises on the beach. No, I think that it doesn’t—I think it sends a good message to North Korea, not a bad message. I think it would be totally inappropriate to do that during the Olympics." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Yesterday it was announced that Toyota is coming in with a very big plant in Alabama. It’s going to cost—they’re going to spend billions of dollars, four thousand jobs, create 300,000 cars a year within the country, which is what I want. Prime Minister Abe told me about it, I pressed him very hard. I said, ‘We got to get your companies building here. We don’t want a building in Japan; we want to build them here. We have a lot of plants opening, car plants opening; we have a lot of things happening that would’ve never happened under the Democrats." [Source] Transcript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 10, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea.  President Moon briefed President Trump on the outcomes of the discussions between North and South Korea on January 9 and thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible.  The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea.  President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.  President Trump told President Moon that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea [South Korea]. January 10, 2017
  • "Well, I hope they [North Korea and South Korea] do.  I hope they do.  I would love to see them take it [negotiations] beyond the Olympics.  We have a very good relationship with South Korea.  I would love to see it go far beyond the Olympics, absolutely. And at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved.  But I like the idea of their dealing on the Olympics.  That should be between those two countries." [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I think so. I spoke with the President, as you know — with President Moon of South Korea.  He thanked me very much for my tough stance.  And you know, for 25 years, they haven’t been using a tough stance.  They’ve been giving everything. When you look at what Bill Clinton did — and you’ve seen the famous clip where Bill Clinton wants to give them everything, and where I said, years ago, with Russert on Meet the Press — many years ago, I talked to — I don’t think anything has changed.  You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things.  And I’m totally prepared to do that. But President Moon called me, and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago, and he thanked me very much.  And I hope it works out.  I very much want to see it work out between the two countries.  I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there.  So I’m behind that 100 percent. He actually thanked me.  He said — and a lot of people have said, a lot of people have written — that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance — and it’s not just a stance — I mean, this is — this is what has to be done, if it has to be done — that they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics, that they wouldn’t be talking right now." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [January 4, 2017] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past.  The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics.  The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. January 4, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

China/Taiwan

  • "At the direction of President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping, on May 17 and 18, 2018, the United States and China engaged in constructive consultations regarding trade in Washington, D.C. The United States delegation included Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, and United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer. The Chinese delegation was led by State Council Vice Premier Liu He, Special Envoy of President Xi. There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China. To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services. This will help support growth and employment in the United States." [Source] Joint Statement of the United States and China Regarding Trade Consultations. May 19, 2018 
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Xi Jinping of China. The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest, including recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and President Xi’s meeting today with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Trump and President Xi agreed on the importance of continued implementation of sanctions on North Korea until it permanently dismantles its nuclear and missile programs. President Trump affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the trade and investment relationship between the United States and China is balanced and benefits American businesses and workers." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of China. May 8, 2018 
  • "And, you know, we did a thing called tariffs, and we did — on steel and aluminum — and we’re doing a lot of other things.  My group [Secretaries Lighthizer, Mnuchin, and Ross] just got back from China.  We’re going to have to rework trade with China because that’s been a one-way street for decades and we just can’t have it happen.  And so we’ll do that.  And we have a lot of respect for President Xi, and we have a lot of respect for China.  But we can’t go on that way.  And that will all work out." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform. May 6, 2018
  • "And now I think, really, they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen on trade, because we’re going to have some incredible trade deals announced.  My people [Secretaries Lighthizer, Mnuchin, and Ross] are coming back right now from China, and we will be doing something, one way or the other, with respect to what’s happening in China. And let me say this:  I have great respect for President Xi.  That’s why we’re being so nice.  And we have a great relationship.  But we have to bring fairness into trade between the U.S. and China.  And we’ll do it."[SourceRemarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure. May 4, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China and Japan, including exports and trade deficits. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, including intellectual property infringement and the trade deficit.[SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, US support of the Olympics in South Korea, and  the status of ongoing negotiations with North Korea to curb its nuclear threat. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • "The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, will be going to China in a few days to negotiate on trade.  I think China is very serious; we’re very serious.  And we have no choice but to be very serious.  You know we’ve put on very substantial tariffs, and that will continue unless we make a trade deal.  I think we’ve got a very good chance of making a deal. As you know, they’ve just stated — President Xi, a terrific guy and a friend of mine, but he’s representing China, and I’m representing the United States.  President Xi made a speech four days ago where he said that China is going to be opened up.  Because it’s not opened up right now.  They trade with us; we can’t trade with them.  They did $504 billion last year, and we did $120 billion.  That’s a tremendous imbalance, and we can’t have that.  So we’re going to have a delegation, at their request, go to China.  They came here recently, and we’re going there.  And that’ll be good." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and President Macron Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting. April 24, 2018
  • "I will say this:  We put the strongest sanctions on a country that we ever have put on any country, by far.  China, President Xi, has been very strong in helping us to solve this problem — in his case, at the border.  He’s allowing very little to get through. I think he’s doing that for a number of reasons.  We have a very good relationship, and also it’s very important in terms of trade, because I do play the trade card.  If you look at what’s happening with trade in China, it hasn’t been fair for many, many years to the United States, and we’re going to solve that problem.  In fact, we’re having Secretary Mnuchin and a couple of other folks heading over to — Bob Lighthizer — heading over to China, at the request of China.  They came here, as you know, last week.  And we’re having very substantive discussions on trade. But I think it all plays to the border and the fact that they have been extremely strong on the border and very little has gotten through, much to the surprise of a lot of people.  And I believe the trade will work out, but I also think that China has never treated us with more respect than they have over the last short period of time that I’m President.  I have a very excellent, as you know, relationship with President Xi.  And I think that relationship is very important as to what’s happening with North Korea." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and President Macron of France in Joint Press Conference. April 24, 2018
  • "And I just want to conclude by thanking President Xi of China.  He’s been incredibly generous.  They have never been this way with the United States.  I think they have more respect for us, perhaps our leadership, but for us than they’ve ever had before.  But President Xi has been very strong on the border, much stronger than anyone thought they would be.  I’d like them to be stronger on the border.  But he has been at a level that nobody ever expected.  The goods coming into North Korea have been cut down very substantially.  As you know, 93 percent of the goods coming into North Korea come through China, come through the border. So I want to thank President Xi, a man we have — I just have a great relationship with.  A very special person to me.  And we are also negotiating very tough trade deals with China.  We hope that’s going to work out.  But he has been very, very generous in terms of what we’re doing with North Korea, and I would like to thank him." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Restricted Bilateral Meeting. April 17, 2018
  • "But with China, we’re at $375 billion trade deficit.  So we started a process, and we’ll see how it ends up.  But we’re going to win.  You know, I always said we had an imbalance of $504 billion.  And I always said, 'When you’re down $504 billion, you can’t lose.'  Okay?  We lost years ago by Presidents and others allowing this to happen.  They should have never allowed it to happen.  But we’re going to bring it back, and we’re bringing it back strong.  It’s already happening.  People see it.  It’s already happening." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at the Tax Cuts for Florida Small Businesses Roundtable | Hialeah, FL. April 16, 2018
  • "I just — while we’re talking about China, we are getting along very well.  I think we’re going to do some great things.  But very importantly, they’re very much helping us at the border of North Korea and they’re continuing to.  And, you know, they view it as something they should do.  I think it’s certainly very beneficial to them.  Getting rid of nuclear weapons is very good for them.  Good for everybody. But they have really been a great help to us at the border of North Korea, and maybe that all plays into what we’re doing because I think it does.  I think everything does.  But perhaps that’s one of the reasons that they are so helpful.  They’ve been really terrific in helping us get to some kind of a settlement. Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un, who will be — I think it will be terrific.  I think we’re going with a lot of respect, and we’ll see what happens.  So we’ve come a long way.  But China has really helped us at the border, and we appreciate it." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "Again, we’re doing really well with China.  I think we’re having some great discussions, and we’ll see what happens.  We put a $50 billion tariff on, and then we put $100 billion tariff on.  And, you know, at a certain point, they run out of bullets. Remember what I said: When you’re $500 billion down, you can’t lose a trade war.  And I won’t call it a trade war because it’s really a trade negotiation.  But nobody ever negotiated from our side.  Nobody ever did anything.  All they did was talk.  And in the meantime, we helped rebuild China because they took so much money — bridges, and airports, and military, and everything.  They took so much — hundreds of billions of dollars out of our country. So now we’re really negotiating, and I think they’re going to treat us very fairly.  I think they want to.  And again, I don’t blame my friend, President Xi.  I blame our representatives, for years, that didn’t do a damn thing, and they allowed it to happen.  I wish we could do what they did because that would make everybody at this table very happy.  So perhaps we’re in the process of doing it." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "As you are all aware, China has consistently treated the United States agriculture unfairly.  I was very proud of something I did at Mar-a-Lago, in Florida.  I had President Xi, who’s a friend of mine, who’s a very, very good man.  And I don’t blame China; I blame our representatives that — our people over the past, our Presidents and negotiators and trade representatives — that they allowed this to happen. But during a very brief conversation, I said, 'President, the United States, we want to sell beef again to China.'  Now, they hadn’t sold it in, what, 14 years or something.  And he looked at me and he said, 'Say it again.'  I said, 'We want to sell beef' — that’s a big industry — 'in China.'  And he said, 'We will sell beef in China.'  And we did other things too.  But the one that really is the most interesting for the people at this table is beef. And I think, Governor, that made a big impact, and they’re selling a lot of beef in China that hadn’t been — for 14, 15 years, they were not allowed to sell beef in China." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "You know, you probably saw that, for many years, no President wanted to go against China, economically.  And we’re going to do it.  We had a trade deficit of almost $500 billion last year with China.  And I have great respect for the President of China, President Xi.  He’s a friend of mine, and I’m a friend of his.  And I like him a lot.  But he’s representing China, and I’m representing the United States of America." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform. April 5, 2018
  • "Following a thorough investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) determined that China has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.  The practices detailed in the USTR’s investigation have caused concern around the world.  China’s illicit trade practices − ignored for years by Washington − have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.  On April 3, 2018, the USTR announced approximately $50 billion in proposed tariffs on imports from China as an initial means to obtain the elimination of policies and practices identified in the investigation. Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.  In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.  I have also instructed the Secretary of Agriculture, with the support of other members of my Cabinet, to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests." [Source] Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Additional Proposed Section 301 Remedies. April 5, 2018 
  • "We’ve helped rebuild China over the last 25 years, if you take a look at what’s happened.  We have helped rebuild China.  So we intend to get along with China, but we have to do something very substantial about the trade deficit.  And with that, nothing is easy.  I campaigned on that, I talked about that.  China won’t be the only country, but I did, in fact, campaign on it." [Source] Remarks by President Trump Before a Working Lunch with Heads of the Baltic States. April 3, 2018
  • "I have to say this: China.  I have great respect for President Xi.  Two of the most incredible days of my life were spent in China, and many of you were with me.  He’s a tremendous person.  But we have a problem with China.  They’ve created a trade deficit, and I really blame our representatives and, frankly, our preceding Presidents for this.  We have a trade deficit of $500 billion a year.  It’s not something we can live with. So we’ll be working with China.  We’ll be negotiating with China.  Again, our relationship is very good with China, and we intend to keep it that way.  But we have to do something to seriously relieve that trade deficit.  We can’t have a $500 billion-a-year trade deficit. We also have the theft of intellectual property, and that probably is in the neighborhood of $200 [billion] to $300 billion a year."  [SourceRemarks by President Trump Before a Working Lunch with Heads of the Baltic States. April 3, 2018
  • "But we’re losing $375 billion with China.  It could be $504 billion, depending on the way you count.  A lot of different ways of counting.  But no matter how you count, it’s bad. And we’re doing something that will be the start of making trade with China more fair.  We’re so far down. [...]  That’s why we had the 301 meeting today on China." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at the Generation Next Summit Panel Discussion with Charlie Kirk. March 22, 2018
  • "I’ve been speaking with the highest Chinese representatives, including the President, and I’ve asked them to reduce the trade deficit immediately by $100 billion.  It’s a lot.  So that would be anywhere from 25 percent, depending on the way you figure, to maybe something even more than that.  But we have to do that. The word that I want to use is “reciprocal.”  When they charge 25 percent for a car to go in, and we charge 2 percent for their car to come into the United States, that’s not good.  That’s how China rebuilt itself.  The tremendous money that we’ve paid since the founding of the World Trade Organization — which has actually been a disaster for us.  It’s been very unfair to us.  The arbitrations are very unfair.  The judging has been very unfair.  And knowingly, we always have a minority and it’s not fair." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "So we have a lot of things happening.  But in particular, with China, we’re going to be doing a Section 301 trade action.  It could be about $60 billion but that’s really just a fraction of what we’re talking about." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "But we have one particular problem.  And I view them as a friend; I have tremendous respect for President Xi.  We have a great relationship.  They’re helping us a lot in North Korea.  And that’s China. But we have a trade deficit, depending on the way you calculate, of $504 billion.  Now, some people would say it’s really $375 billion.  Many different ways of looking at it, but any way you look at it, it is the largest deficit of any country in the history of our world.  It’s out of control. We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on, which likewise is hundreds of billions of dollars.  And that’s on a yearly basis.  I’ve spoken to the President.  I’ve spoken to representatives of China.  We’ve been dealing with it very seriously." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "On August 14, 2017, I directed the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to determine whether to investigate China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.  On August 18, 2017, the Trade Representative initiated an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2411). [...] Section 1.  Tariffs.  (a)  The Trade Representative should take all appropriate action under section 301 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2411) to address the acts, policies, and practices of China that are unreasonable or discriminatory and that burden or restrict U.S. commerce.  The Trade Representative shall consider whether such action should include increased tariffs on goods from China." [Source] Presidential Memorandum on the Actions by the United States Related to the Section 301 Investigation. March 22, 2018
  • In the video immediately below President Trump discusses the executive memorandum that he signed to impose retalitory tariffs on roughly $60 billion of imports from China in light of the US trade decifit with China. 
  • On March 16, 2018 President Trump signed H.R. 535, the “Taiwan Travel Act,” into law "which encourages visits between officials of the United States and Taiwan at all levels." [Source
  • "And I must tell you, President Xi of China has really helped us a lot. They have really helped us. And because 93 percent of the goods come in through China going into Korea, North Korea, 93 percent. So that's pretty powerful. And they have been very good. They could have done more, but that's OK. I say to them, you have been great. You could you done more. But they have done a lot. They have done more. China has done more for us than they have ever done for any other President or every done for this country, and I respect that." [SourceCNN Transcript: President Donald Trump Rallied in Moon Township Pennsylvania To Campaign For Republican Congressional Candidate Rick Saccone. March 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [March 9, 2018] with President Xi Jinping of China about recent developments related to North Korea.  The two leaders welcomed the prospect of dialogue between the United States and North Korea, and committed to maintain pressure and sanctions until North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.  President Trump expressed his hope that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might choose a brighter path for North Korea’s future." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of China. March 9, 2018
  • "If you talk China, I’ve watched where the reporters have been writing, 2 percent of our steel comes from China.  Well, that’s not right.  They transship all through other countries.  And you’ll see that a country that doesn’t even have a steel mill is sending us 3 percent steel for our country.  And many countries are doing it, but it comes from China. So China doesn’t send us 2 percent; they send us a much, much higher level than that.  But it’s called transshipping.  So it doesn’t look good when it all comes out of China, so they send it through other countries, and it comes to us.  And it’s putting our steel mills out of business.  Our aluminum mills are going out of business.  And we need steel and we need aluminum." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "In the closed-door remarks, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump also praised China's President Xi Jinping for recently consolidating power and extending his potential tenure, musing he wouldn't mind making such a maneuver himself. 'He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great,' Trump said. 'And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day.'" [Source] Trump on China's Xi consolidating power: 'Maybe we'll give that a shot some day.' March 3, 2018
  • "When I was with President Xi in China — as an example, we lose $500 billion a year on trade.  We have a deficit of approximately $500 billion a year with China.  And we’re doing things with China which are very strong, but they understand it.  But I was with him and I said to him in public, I said, 'Look, I’m not blaming you.  I blame our people for not doing a better job, for allowing this to happen.'" [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "I'm renegotiating trade deals. There are no trade deals ever negotiated that have been bad like the trade deals we've had negotiated whether it's NAFTA, the deal with South Korea, TPP -- I was able to keep us out of that, that would have been a total disaster. The World Trade Organization deal, that's what really led to the emergence of China -- you look at China, they became rich when they made the World Trade Deal. The World Trade Organization, WTO. We have to change it. We can't allow our workers, our country, our companies to be ripped off like this, and they understand that." [SourceInterivew with Judge Jeanine on Fox. February 24, 2018
  • "Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense." [Source] State of the Union 2018: Read the full transcript. CNN. January 31, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Not helpful enough, but they’ve [China] been very helpful. Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president. They still haven’t done enough. But they’ve done more for me than they have, by far, for any—I have a very good relationship with President Xi. I like him. He likes me. We have a great chemistry together. He’s—China has done far more for us than they ever have for any American president. With that being said, it’s not enough. They have to do more. For instance, at the very beginning, you know Obama felt—President Obama felt it was his biggest problem is North Korea. He said that openly. He said that to me, but he said that openly. It is a big problem, and they should not have left me with that problem. That should have been a problem that was solved by Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or anybody, because the longer it went, the worse, the more difficult the problem got. This should not have been a problem left on my desk, but it is, and I get things solved. And one way or the other, that problem is going to be solved. China has been helping us, and I appreciate the help, but they can do much more." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "As an example, we’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea. And you see in North Korea what’s happening with North Korea all of a sudden. China’s been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I’ve said I’ve done." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  •  "We’re pleased to be joined by many of the members of Congress as we take an important step to halt the flood of deadly drugs that are pouring into our country like never before.  It took place two, three, four years ago.  It’s at a level that people haven’t seen over the last few years. In a few moments, I’ll sign the INTERDICT Act.  This law directs the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional tools and resources to detect and intercept the supply of illicit fentanyl, which is our new big scourge.  It’s disgraceful what’s happening — coming from different countries including, frankly, China and others. And it’s pouring in at record numbers.  In 2016, nearly 20,000 Americans died as a result of using synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.  Each death is a tragedy, leaving behind devastated parents, spouses, and orphans all over our country." [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and Bipartisan Members of Congress at Signing of H.R. 2142, INTERDICT Act. January 10, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Human Rights & Democracy

  • "No, not at all.  We very much appreciate that he [North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un] allowed them [Americans detained in North Korea] to go before the meeting.  It was sort of understood that we’d be able to get these three terrific people during the meeting and bring them home after the meeting.  And he was nice in letting them go before the meeting. I mean, frankly, we didn’t think this was going to happen, and it did.  So you could say we’re a little bit — it was a very important thing to all of us to be able to get these three great people out. And I must tell you, I want to pay my warmest respects to the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was a great young man who really suffered.  And his parents have become friends of ours.  They are spectacular people.  And I just want to pay my respects.  I actually called them the other day, and Mike called them, also — Mike Pence.  And they are really incredible people." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "My proudest achievement will be — this is a part of it — but will be when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.  This is what people have been waiting for for a long time.  Nobody thought we could be on this track in terms of speed. So I’m very honored to have helped the three folks [Americans detained in North Korea].  They’re great people.  You know, I got to speak to them on the plane.  These are great people; they’ve been through a lot.  But it’s a great honor.  But the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "We want to thank Kim Jong-un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people [Americans detained in North Korea].  They are really three incredible people.  And the fact that we were able to get them out so soon was really a tribute to a lot of things, including a certain process that’s taking place right now.  And that process is very important." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 9, 2018] with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. The two leaders welcomed North Korea’s decision to release three American detainees, and expressed hope for joyful family reunions. President Trump noted he is looking forward to welcoming President Moon back to the White House on May 22." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. May 9, 2018
  • "We know that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes.  America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution. Last week, during the State of the Union, the world was inspired by the story of a North Korean defector, Mr. Ji Seong-ho, who is now back in South Korea. Before his escape, when Seong-ho was being tortured by North Korean officials, there was one thing that kept him from losing hope: Over and over again, he recited the Lord’s Prayer.  He prayed for peace, and he prayed for freedom.  And now, as you know, Seong-ho is free and a symbol of hope to millions of people all around the world." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at the 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. February 8, 2018
  • "We have a very special group of people with us today. These are escapees from North Korea. There have been many of them over the last year, and there seems to be more and more. It’s a tough place to live, and people aren’t liking it. There’s great danger, great risk. Seong-ho was with us the other night at the State of the Union Address, and really made an incredible impression on me and on everybody else, both on television and in that magnificent room. And I had an opportunity to meet with some of the folks, and their stories are amazing. And I thought, through our really fabulous interpreter, we could probably go through a couple of the stories, because they’re incredible and very inspirational. So, escapees from North Korea." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with North Korean Defectors. February 2, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

North Korea

  • During a campaign rally for US Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun, President Trump discussed the return of American hostages from North Korea and his upcoming meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un. [Source] Clipped from C-SPAN coverage of President Trump Remarks in Elkhart, Indiana. May 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [May 9, 2018] with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The two leaders discussed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, and agreed to continue close coordination in advance of the President’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  The President and Prime Minister committed to maintaining trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea, and also affirmed the shared goal of North Korea abandoning its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. May 10, 2018
  • "No, not at all.  We very much appreciate that he [North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un] allowed them [Americans detained in North Korea] to go before the meeting.  It was sort of understood that we’d be able to get these three terrific people during the meeting and bring them home after the meeting.  And he was nice in letting them go before the meeting. I mean, frankly, we didn’t think this was going to happen, and it did.  So you could say we’re a little bit — it was a very important thing to all of us to be able to get these three great people out. And I must tell you, I want to pay my warmest respects to the parents of Otto Warmbier, who was a great young man who really suffered.  And his parents have become friends of ours.  They are spectacular people.  And I just want to pay my respects.  I actually called them the other day, and Mike called them, also — Mike Pence.  And they are really incredible people." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "My proudest achievement will be — this is a part of it — but will be when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.  This is what people have been waiting for for a long time.  Nobody thought we could be on this track in terms of speed. So I’m very honored to have helped the three folks [Americans detained in North Korea].  They’re great people.  You know, I got to speak to them on the plane.  These are great people; they’ve been through a lot.  But it’s a great honor.  But the true honor is going to be if we have a victory in getting rid of nuclear weapons." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "We want to thank Kim Jong-un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people [Americans detained in North Korea].  They are really three incredible people.  And the fact that we were able to get them out so soon was really a tribute to a lot of things, including a certain process that’s taking place right now.  And that process is very important." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Arrival of Americans Detained in North Korea. May 10, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 9, 2018 with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea. The two leaders welcomed North Korea’s decision to release three American detainees, and expressed hope for joyful family reunions. President Trump noted he is looking forward to welcoming President Moon back to the White House on May 22." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. May 9, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Xi Jinping of China. The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest, including recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and President Xi’s meeting today with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Trump and President Xi agreed on the importance of continued implementation of sanctions on North Korea until it permanently dismantles its nuclear and missile programs. President Trump affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the trade and investment relationship between the United States and China is balanced and benefits American businesses and workers." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of China. May 8, 2018 
  • "We’re doing very well on, as you know, North Korea.  We’ll see what happens.  But we have a meeting set up.  We have the location all done.  We have the time and place all finished now. We have the date.  And so I think that will be something very special." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform. May 6, 2018
  • "We have a chance of bringing — we have a chance — we’re doing very well with the [American] hostages [held in North Korea].  We’re in constant contact with the [North Korean] leadership.  We are in constant contact with North Korea.  We’ve actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly and very soon." [Source] Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure. May 4, 2018
  • " We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea.  And a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages.  And I think you’re going to see very good things.  As I said yesterday, stayed tuned.  I think you’re going to be seeing very, very good things. And also, the trip [for a proposed meeting between President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un] is being scheduled.  We now have a date and we have a location.  We’ll be announcing it soon." [Source] Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure. May 4, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, US support of the Olympics in South Korea, and  the status of ongoing negotiations with North Korea to curb its nuclear threat. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • "On the occasion of this week’s meeting between President Moon and Kim Jong-un, I want to express my hope that all of the people of Korea — North Korea and South — can someday live in harmony, prosperity, and peace. And it looks like it could happen. When I began, people were saying that was an impossibility. They said there were two alternatives: Let them have what they have or go to war. And now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible. I’ll be meeting with Kim Jong-un in the coming weeks as we seek to denuclearize the North Korean area and the entire Korean Peninsula. Hopefully, the day will come when Olympic athletes can compete on a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons, and where all Koreans can live together and can share their dreams. It would be a wonderful thing to do." [SourceRemarks by President Trump Welcoming the U.S. Olympic Team. April 27, 2018
  • "In South Korea, on our trade deal, we’re doing very well.  And as far as North Korea is concerned, we are going to be having a meeting with Kim Jong-un, and that will be very soon.  We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible.  And we think that’s a great thing for the world.  That’s a great thing for North Korea and South Korea and Japan and France and everybody. So we’re having very — very good discussions.  Kim Jong-un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.  Now, a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years, but they’ve never been in this position. We have been very, very tough on maximum pressure.  We have been very tough on, as you know, trade.  We’ve been very, very tough at the border.  Sanctions have been the toughest we’ve ever imposed on any country.  And we think it will be a great thing for North Korea and it will be a great thing for the world.  So we’ll see where that all goes.  Maybe it will be wonderful and maybe it won’t.  And if it’s not going to be fair and reasonable and good, I will — unlike past administrations, I will leave the table. But I think we have a chance of doing something very special with respect to North Korea.  Good for them, good for us, good for everybody." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and President Macron Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting. April 24, 2018
  • "It means they [North Korea] get rid of their nukes.  Very simple.  They get rid of their nukes, and nobody else would say it.  It would be very easy for me to make a simple deal and claim victory.  I don’t want to do that.  I want them to get rid of their nukes." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and President Macron of France in Joint Press Conference. April 24, 2018
  • "I will say this:  We put the strongest sanctions on a country that we ever have put on any country, by far.  China, President Xi, has been very strong in helping us to solve this problem — in his case, at the border.  He’s allowing very little to get through. I think he’s doing that for a number of reasons.  We have a very good relationship, and also it’s very important in terms of trade, because I do play the trade card.  If you look at what’s happening with trade in China, it hasn’t been fair for many, many years to the United States, and we’re going to solve that problem.  In fact, we’re having Secretary Mnuchin and a couple of other folks heading over to — Bob Lighthizer — heading over to China, at the request of China.  They came here, as you know, last week.  And we’re having very substantive discussions on trade. But I think it all plays to the border and the fact that they have been extremely strong on the border and very little has gotten through, much to the surprise of a lot of people.  And I believe the trade will work out, but I also think that China has never treated us with more respect than they have over the last short period of time that I’m President.  I have a very excellent, as you know, relationship with President Xi.  And I think that relationship is very important as to what’s happening with North Korea." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and President Macron of France in Joint Press Conference. April 24, 2018
  • "I hope that we will be able to deal in a very open and honorable fashion with North Korea.  I started a process, and when I did, everybody thought I was doing it absolutely wrong.  But in the meantime, for 25 years, people have been dealing and nothing happened.  And a lot is happening right now.  I can tell you that, Jeff.  A lot is happening.  And I think it’s going to be very positive.  And I hope it’s going to be very positive for North Korea and for South Korea, and Japan, and the rest of the world. But I am starting at a level that, frankly, I shouldn’t have had to start.  This should have been worked out a long time ago.  This should have been worked out many years ago.  We were discussing that we shouldn’t be having this situation happen to the United States and the world.  This should have been resolved by other Presidents and by other leaders of other countries a long time ago. With that being said, I think we’re doing very well.  Meetings are being set up.  And I want to see denuclearization of North Korea.  A lot of concessions have already been made.  We have made no concessions, despite some of the media saying that I’ve made concessions.  I don’t — I haven’t even discussed a concession other than the fact that meeting is a great thing.  And I’m sure that a lot of other people would have liked to have had the position we’re having." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and President Macron of France in Joint Press Conference. April 24, 2018
  • "The United States and France are also cooperating to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  We are grateful for France’s key partnership in our campaign of maximum pressure on the North Korean regime. As you know, I will soon be meeting with Kim Jong-un as we seek a future of peace, harmony and security for the whole Korean Peninsula and, in fact, for the whole world. However, in pursuit of peace, we will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations.  The campaign of maximum pressure will continue." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and President Macron of France in Joint Press Conference. April 24, 2018
  • "And I just want to conclude by thanking President Xi of China.  He’s been incredibly generous.  They have never been this way with the United States.  I think they have more respect for us, perhaps our leadership, but for us than they’ve ever had before.  But President Xi has been very strong on the border, much stronger than anyone thought they would be.  I’d like them to be stronger on the border.  But he has been at a level that nobody ever expected.  The goods coming into North Korea have been cut down very substantially.  As you know, 93 percent of the goods coming into North Korea come through China, come through the border. So I want to thank President Xi, a man we have — I just have a great relationship with.  A very special person to me.  And we are also negotiating very tough trade deals with China.  We hope that’s going to work out.  But he has been very, very generous in terms of what we’re doing with North Korea, and I would like to thank him." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Restricted Bilateral Meeting. April 17, 2018
  • "South Korea’s meetings with North Korea are very much in coordination with us.  We’re in consultation with them constantly.  Our relationship with South Korea is a very good one.  In fact, we’re in the midst of negotiating a new and better, perhaps for both sides, trade deal.  Because right now it’s an unfair deal, frankly, to the United States.  But what else is new.  All of them are.  But we are going to finalize a new deal fairly soon.  We probably could have it done already if I wanted to have it done.  But we are in very close communication and coordination with South Korea with their upcoming meetings, and even their current talks with North Korea. And as I said before, the war has never ended.  If we can do something even before the meeting — the big planned meeting — that would be fine.  But we’re dealing very closely with South Korea.  They’re the ones that came and told us about the original meeting that they want to meet with me, they want to meet with the United States, specifically.  We have not picked a site yet, but we’ve picked five sites where it’s potentially going to be.  We’ll let you know fairly soon." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Restricted Bilateral Meeting. April 17, 2018
  • "I look forward to meeting with Kim Jong-un.  And hopefully that will be a success.  And maybe it will be, and maybe it won’t be.  We don’t know.  But we’ll see what happens.  But I can say this: They do respect us.  We are respectful of them.  And we’re going to see what happens. We will bring up the abductees.  We’ll bring up many different things.  I think it’s a time for talking, it’s a time for solving problems.  I know that’s been a very big factor for you." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Restricted Bilateral Meeting. April 17, 2018
  • "North Korea is coming along.  South Korea is meeting, and has plans to meet, with North Korea to see if they can end the war.  And they have my blessing on that.  And they’ve been very generous that without us and without me in particular, I guess, you would have to say, that they wouldn’t be discussing anything, including the Olympics would have been a failure.  Instead, it was a great success.  They would have had a real problem. But as you know, North Korea participated in the Olympics, and it made it — really, it was quite an Olympics.  It was quite a success that would not have happened.  And they do have my blessing to discuss the end to the war.  People don’t realize the Korean War has not ended.  It’s going on right now.  And they are discussing an end to the war.  So, subject to a deal, they would certainly have my blessing.  And they do have my blessing to discuss that." [SourceRemarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting | Mar-a-Lago, FL. April 17, 2018
  • "I just — while we’re talking about China, we are getting along very well.  I think we’re going to do some great things.  But very importantly, they’re very much helping us at the border of North Korea and they’re continuing to.  And, you know, they view it as something they should do.  I think it’s certainly very beneficial to them.  Getting rid of nuclear weapons is very good for them.  Good for everybody. But they have really been a great help to us at the border of North Korea, and maybe that all plays into what we’re doing because I think it does.  I think everything does.  But perhaps that’s one of the reasons that they are so helpful.  They’ve been really terrific in helping us get to some kind of a settlement. Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un, who will be — I think it will be terrific.  I think we’re going with a lot of respect, and we’ll see what happens.  So we’ve come a long way.  But China has really helped us at the border, and we appreciate it." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "And North Korea — how did this happen, where it got so bad?  I shouldn’t be the one negotiating North Korea.  This should have been done years ago, Charlie.  This should have been done by somebody before they were in the position that they’re in right now. But we got stuck with a lot of beauties, but we’ll fix them."
  • "And I must tell you, President Xi of China has really helped us a lot. They have really helped us. And because 93 percent of the goods come in through China going into Korea, North Korea, 93 percent. So that's pretty powerful. And they have been very good. They could have done more, but that's OK. I say to them, you have been great. You could you done more. But they have done a lot. They have done more. China has done more for us than they have ever done for any other President or every done for this country, and I respect that." [SourceCNN Transcript: President Donald Trump Rallied in Moon Township Pennsylvania To Campaign For Republican Congressional Candidate Rick Saccone. March 10, 2018
  • "But we have been very strong and very vigilant. And now lots of good things, I think, are going to happen. But we will see. But the funny thing, so they announce that he is not going send missiles up anymore through the meetings. Well, think about that. You know, we were losing a lot of missiles sent. I wouldn't say Japan was thrilled missiles flying over Japan. They are very happy with what I'm doing. And who else could do it? I mean, honestly, when you think, they are not going to send missiles up. Think about that. They are not sending missiles up. And I believe that. I believe that. I really do. I think they want to do something. I think they want to make peace. I think it's time. And I think we have shown great strength. I think that's also important, right?" [SourceCNN Transcript: President Donald Trump Rallied in Moon Township Pennsylvania To Campaign For Republican Congressional Candidate Rick Saccone. March 10, 2018
  • "But when the South Korean representatives who just left North Korea came outside, big throng of press, they announced that North Korea, Kim Jong-un would like to meet with President Trump. This doesn't happen, you know. They say well, Obama could have done that. Trust me, he wouldn't have done it. And by the way, neither would Bush and neither would Clinton. And they had their shot and all they did was nothing. Well, Clinton gave away billions and billions of dollars. And as soon as they made the deal, the following day they started working on making more nukes. OK. So that is not the great deal. Ever see the story where it's 1999, I'm on "MEET THE PRESS" a show now headed by sleepy eyes Chuck Todd, he has a sleepy son of a bitch, I tell you. And they showed it this morning, 1999, and I'm talking about North Korea, you have to take them out now. And then they have Clinton saying we are pleased to announce that we have made a deal with North Korea. Well, you know how that deal turned out, right? We gave billions and billions of dollars and lots of other things. And we got nothing." [SourceCNN Transcript: President Donald Trump Rallied in Moon Township Pennsylvania To Campaign For Republican Congressional Candidate Rick Saccone. March 10, 2018
  • "You know it's funny, I don't know if you saw it, but we have had a problem for years with North Korea. In fact, President Obama said it was the biggest problem we had. And South Korea went there. We put very, very strong sanctions and lots of other things we have been doing right from the first day I was in office. And South Korea came to my office after having gone to North Korea, and seeing Kim Jong-un. And -- no, it's very positive. After the meeting you may do that, but now we have to be very nice, because let's see what happens because let's see what happens. Let's see what happens." [SourceCNN Transcript: President Donald Trump Rallied in Moon Township Pennsylvania To Campaign For Republican Congressional Candidate Rick Saccone. March 10, 2018
  • "I think that they [North Korea] are sincere, but I think they’re sincere also because the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea, including, you know, the great help that we’ve been given from China.  And they can do more, but I think they’ve done more than, certainly, they’ve ever done for our country before.  So China has been a big help.  I think that’s been a factor. But the sanctions have been very, very strong and very biting.  And we don’t want that to happen.  So I really believe they are sincere.  I hope they’re sincere.  We’re going to soon find out." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "We’ve been working on North Korea.  Sweden has somewhat of a relationship with North Korea.  We’ve been working with North Korea.  As I said, Otto was really brought home, unfortunately in very poor condition, but Otto was brought home largely with the help of Sweden. " [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "The United States is also grateful to Sweden for advocating for Americans detained in North Korea.  I particularly want to thank the Swedish government for its assistance in securing the release of American college student Otto Warmbier last year.  Terrible, tragic event.  We continue to pray for Otto’s parents, Fred and Cindy — two terrific people — over the tragic death of their son. And we remain determined to achieve a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  And there’s been a lot of news on that today.  Hopefully, it’s positive.  Hopefully, it will lead to a very positive result." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "Well, I hope so.  I want to see what happens.  We’re in very close contact.  We have come, certainly, a long way, at least rhetorically, with North Korea.  It would be a great thing for the world.  It would be a great thing for North Korea.  It would be a great thing for the Peninsula. But we’ll see what happens.  We have — we’ve been in a situation that should have been handled for a long time.  For many, many years, this should have been taken care of.  It shouldn’t have been waited.  But we’ll get it done. [...] But we are prepared to go either way.  I think that their statement and the statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive.  That would be a great thing for the world.  A great thing for the world.  So we’ll see how it all comes about." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden Before Bilateral Meeting. March 6, 2018
  • "'And that's true. ... Whether people want to hear it or not, they had a very successful Olympics. That was heading for disaster. They weren't selling tickets. ... It was heading for disaster and now we're talking. And they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago and said, 'We would like to talk.' And I said, 'So would we, but you have to de-nuke, you have to de-nuke.'" [Source] Read Trump's remarks at Gridiron dinner. March 4, 2018
  • "'I won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won't. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that's his problem, not mine. ... He must be a fine man. Do you think he's a fine man? ... Although, we did save the Olympics. President Moon gave us a lot of credit, said, 'It was—it was President Trump that made the Olympics successful because there were a lot of people that wanted to go into that stadium with the potential of a problem—a big problem—and he gave us all a lot of credit. He said, 'Without President Trump and his strong attitude they would have never called up and said, 'Hey, we'd love to be in the Olympics together.'" [SourceRead Trump's remarks at Gridiron dinner. March 4, 2018
  • "We know that millions of people in Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and other countries suffer under repressive and brutal regimes.  America stands with all people suffering oppression and religious persecution. Last week, during the State of the Union, the world was inspired by the story of a North Korean defector, Mr. Ji Seong-ho, who is now back in South Korea. Before his escape, when Seong-ho was being tortured by North Korean officials, there was one thing that kept him from losing hope: Over and over again, he recited the Lord’s Prayer.  He prayed for peace, and he prayed for freedom.  And now, as you know, Seong-ho is free and a symbol of hope to millions of people all around the world." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at the 66th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. February 8, 2018
  • "We have a very special group of people with us today. These are escapees from North Korea. There have been many of them over the last year, and there seems to be more and more. It’s a tough place to live, and people aren’t liking it. There’s great danger, great risk. Seong-ho was with us the other night at the State of the Union Address, and really made an incredible impression on me and on everybody else, both on television and in that magnificent room. And I had an opportunity to meet with some of the folks, and their stories are amazing. And I thought, through our really fabulous interpreter, we could probably go through a couple of the stories, because they’re incredible and very inspirational. So, escapees from North Korea." [SourceRemarks by President Trump in Meeting with North Korean Defectors. February 2, 2018
  • "Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime [North Korea]. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho. In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves -- permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had -- and he resolved to be free. Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death. Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth. Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all." [SourceState of the Union 2018: Read the full transcript. CNN. January 31, 2018
  • "Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June -- horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return. Otto's Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight -- along with Otto's brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto's memory with American resolve." [SourceState of the Union 2018: Read the full transcript. CNN. January 31, 2018
  • "But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position. We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies." [SourceState of the Union 2018: Read the full transcript. CNN. January 31, 2018
  • "President Trump will continue to rally the world to apply maximum pressure to convince North Korea to de-nuclearize." [Source] President Donald J. Trump's Foreign Policy Puts America First. January 30, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday [January 15] with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  President Trump and President Xi acknowledged the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue and expressed hope that it might prompt a change in North Korea’s destructive behavior.  President Trump committed to sustain the United States-led global campaign of maximum pressure to compel North Korea to commit to denuclearization.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States’ trade deficit with China has continued to grow.  President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable." [SourceReadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. January 16, 2017
  • "With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [Responding to a question regarding if it would send a message of backing down to North Korea to delay the military exercises normally scheduled during this time with South Korea] "No, I think it’s inappropriate to have the Olympics, have millions of people going to the Olympics hopefully, have North Korea going to the Olympics, and we’re having exercises on the beach. No, I think that it doesn’t—I think it sends a good message to North Korea, not a bad message. I think it would be totally inappropriate to do that during the Olympics." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Not helpful enough, but they’ve [China] been very helpful. Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president. They still haven’t done enough. But they’ve done more for me than they have, by far, for any—I have a very good relationship with President Xi. I like him. He likes me. We have a great chemistry together. He’s—China has done far more for us than they ever have for any American president. With that being said, it’s not enough. They have to do more. For instance, at the very beginning, you know Obama felt—President Obama felt it was his biggest problem is North Korea. He said that openly. He said that to me, but he said that openly. It is a big problem, and they should not have left me with that problem. That should have been a problem that was solved by Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or anybody, because the longer it went, the worse, the more difficult the problem got. This should not have been a problem left on my desk, but it is, and I get things solved. And one way or the other, that problem is going to be solved. China has been helping us, and I appreciate the help, but they can do much more." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "As an example, we’ve been much tougher on China, but not nearly as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea. And you see in North Korea what’s happening with North Korea all of a sudden. China’s been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I’ve said I’ve done." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • [When asked if he would be willing to engage in phone talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] "Sure.  I always believe in talking. [...] But we have a very firm stance.  Look, our stance — you know what it is.  We’re very firm.  But I would be — absolutely I would do that.  No problem with that at all. [...] Look, right now, they’re talking Olympics.  It’s a start.  It’s a big start.  If I weren’t involved, they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics right now.  They’d be doing no talking or it would be much more serious. He knows I’m not messing around.  I’m not messing around — not even a little bit, not even 1 percent.  He understands that.  At the same time, if we can come up with a very peaceful and very good solution — we’re working on it with Rex and we’re working on it with a lot of people — if something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.  That would be a great thing for the world.  Very important, okay?" [Source] Remarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I hope they [North Korea and South Korea] do.  I hope they do.  I would love to see them take it [negotiations] beyond the Olympics.  We have a very good relationship with South Korea.  I would love to see it go far beyond the Olympics, absolutely. And at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved.  But I like the idea of their dealing on the Olympics.  That should be between those two countries." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018
  • "Well, I think so. I spoke with the President, as you know — with President Moon of South Korea.  He thanked me very much for my tough stance.  And you know, for 25 years, they haven’t been using a tough stance.  They’ve been giving everything. When you look at what Bill Clinton did — and you’ve seen the famous clip where Bill Clinton wants to give them everything, and where I said, years ago, with Russert on Meet the Press — many years ago, I talked to — I don’t think anything has changed.  You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things.  And I’m totally prepared to do that. But President Moon called me, and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago, and he thanked me very much.  And I hope it works out.  I very much want to see it work out between the two countries.  I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there.  So I’m behind that 100 percent. He actually thanked me.  He said — and a lot of people have said, a lot of people have written — that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance — and it’s not just a stance — I mean, this is — this is what has to be done, if it has to be done — that they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics, that they wouldn’t be talking right now." [SourceRemarks by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan After Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat. January 6, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

South China Sea

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Southeast Asia/ASEAN

  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [May 11, 2018] with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.  President Trump thanked Prime Minister Lee for his willingness to host President Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two leaders also discussed regional security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. President Trump and Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed the relationship between the United States and Singapore, which has been one of the United States’ closest partnerships in Asia for more than 50 years. President Trump said that he looks forward to seeing Prime Minister Lee in Singapore soon." [Source] Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore. May 11, 2018
  • "President Donald J. Trump spoke today [February 14, 2018] with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam to reaffirm their shared commitment to strengthening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership.  President Trump and President Quang discussed the regional security environment and the growing bilateral defense relationship between their two countries, including the upcoming visit by the United States aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March.  The two leaders also discussed trade issues, and pledged to deepen and expand bilateral trade that is fair and reciprocal." [Source] REadout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam. February 14, 2018

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Summits - APEC, East Asia (EAS), & US-ASEAN

 

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

Trade & Investment

  • "At the direction of President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping, on May 17 and 18, 2018, the United States and China engaged in constructive consultations regarding trade in Washington, D.C. The United States delegation included Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, and United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer. The Chinese delegation was led by State Council Vice Premier Liu He, Special Envoy of President Xi. There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China. To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services. This will help support growth and employment in the United States." [Source] Joint Statement of the United States and China Regarding Trade Consultations. May 19, 2018 
  • "And, you know, we did a thing called tariffs, and we did — on steel and aluminum — and we’re doing a lot of other things.  My group [Secretaries Lighthizer, Mnuchin, and Ross] just got back from China.  We’re going to have to rework trade with China because that’s been a one-way street for decades and we just can’t have it happen.  And so we’ll do that.  And we have a lot of respect for President Xi, and we have a lot of respect for China.  But we can’t go on that way.  And that will all work out." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform. May 6, 2018
  • "And now I think, really, they’re waiting to see what’s going to happen on trade, because we’re going to have some incredible trade deals announced.  My people [Secretaries Lighthizer, Mnuchin, and Ross] are coming back right now from China, and we will be doing something, one way or the other, with respect to what’s happening in China. And let me say this:  I have great respect for President Xi.  That’s why we’re being so nice.  And we have a great relationship.  But we have to bring fairness into trade between the U.S. and China.  And we’ll do it."[SourceRemarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure. May 4, 2018
  • "Today [April 30, 2018], President Donald J. Trump issued two proclamations authorizing modifications of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.  The Administration has reached a final agreement with South Korea on steel imports, the outlines of which were previously announced by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Republic of Korea Minister for Trade Hyun-chong Kim.  The Administration has also reached agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil with respect to steel and aluminum, the details of which will be finalized shortly." [Source] President Donald J. Trump Approves Section 232 Tariff Modifications. April 30, 2018 

Read the Presidential Proclamation on aluminum tariffs here

Read the Presidential Proclamation on steel tariffs here

  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China and Japan, including exports and trade deficits. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, including intellectual property infringement and the trade deficit.[SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • On April 28, 2018 at a rally in Macomb County, Michigan, President Trump discussed US trade with China, US support of the Olympics in South Korea, and  the status of ongoing negotiations with North Korea to curb its nuclear threat. [SourceClipped from CSPAN coverage. April 28, 2018
  • "The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, will be going to China in a few days to negotiate on trade.  I think China is very serious; we’re very serious.  And we have no choice but to be very serious.  You know we’ve put on very substantial tariffs, and that will continue unless we make a trade deal.  I think we’ve got a very good chance of making a deal. As you know, they’ve just stated — President Xi, a terrific guy and a friend of mine, but he’s representing China, and I’m representing the United States.  President Xi made a speech four days ago where he said that China is going to be opened up.  Because it’s not opened up right now.  They trade with us; we can’t trade with them.  They did $504 billion last year, and we did $120 billion.  That’s a tremendous imbalance, and we can’t have that.  So we’re going to have a delegation, at their request, go to China.  They came here recently, and we’re going there.  And that’ll be good." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and President Macron Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting. April 24, 2018
  • "'Reciprocal' is the world that I think we have to start using with a lot of nations, not only Japan.  So when we say, 'free,' that’s good. 'Fair,' that’s good.  But I like to say, 'free, fair, and reciprocal.'  And the word 'reciprocal' is that when you have a car come in, we charge you a tax.  When we have a car go through Japan, which aren’t allowed to go there, we have to take down the barriers and we have to pay the same tax. But that goes for other countries, too.  I mean, China, as an example, when they send a car to us, it’s 2.5 percent tax.  When we send a car to them, number one, they don’t take it, and number two, it’s 25 percent tax.  And then you wonder why we have $500 billion of imbalance.  And it’s not right. So hopefully, the word 'reciprocal' will be the primary word that we’re going to be using.  And we use that with every nation now, because the United States has not been properly led on trade.  Our people have let us down.  Whether it’s our Presidents or our representatives, they’ve let us down." [SourcePresident Donald J. Trump's Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. April 18, 2018
  • "What we’re going to be doing now mostly is trade.  As the Prime Minister knows, they’ve done very well with the United States.  We have a very big deficit, and we’re going to weed that down and hopefully get a balance at some point in the not-too-distant future.  But we have a massive deficit with Japan. We will, I believe, at the end of a fairly short period of time, be able to do certain things.  I know they’re ordering large numbers of airplanes — both jet fighters and passenger planes — and it’s in the tens of billions of dollars.  And they’ll not only get the best plane, but will help with the process of equalization." [SourcePresident Donald J. Trump's Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. April 18, 2018
  • "But with China, we’re at $375 billion trade deficit.  So we started a process, and we’ll see how it ends up.  But we’re going to win.  You know, I always said we had an imbalance of $504 billion.  And I always said, “When you’re down $504 billion, you can’t lose.”  Okay?  We lost years ago by Presidents and others allowing this to happen.  They should have never allowed it to happen.  But we’re going to bring it back, and we’re bringing it back strong.  It’s already happening.  People see it.  It’s already happening." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at the Tax Cuts for Florida Small Businesses Roundtable | Hialeah, FL. April 16, 2018
  • "Again, we’re doing really well with China.  I think we’re having some great discussions, and we’ll see what happens.  We put a $50 billion tariff on, and then we put $100 billion tariff on.  And, you know, at a certain point, they run out of bullets. Remember what I said: When you’re $500 billion down, you can’t lose a trade war.  And I won’t call it a trade war because it’s really a trade negotiation.  But nobody ever negotiated from our side.  Nobody ever did anything.  All they did was talk.  And in the meantime, we helped rebuild China because they took so much money — bridges, and airports, and military, and everything.  They took so much — hundreds of billions of dollars out of our country. So now we’re really negotiating, and I think they’re going to treat us very fairly.  I think they want to.  And again, I don’t blame my friend, President Xi.  I blame our representatives, for years, that didn’t do a damn thing, and they allowed it to happen.  I wish we could do what they did because that would make everybody at this table very happy.  So perhaps we’re in the process of doing it." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "As you are all aware, China has consistently treated the United States agriculture unfairly.  I was very proud of something I did at Mar-a-Lago, in Florida.  I had President Xi, who’s a friend of mine, who’s a very, very good man.  And I don’t blame China; I blame our representatives that — our people over the past, our Presidents and negotiators and trade representatives — that they allowed this to happen. But during a very brief conversation, I said, 'President, the United States, we want to sell beef again to China.'  Now, they hadn’t sold it in, what, 14 years or something.  And he looked at me and he said, 'Say it again.'  I said, 'We want to sell beef' — that’s a big industry — 'in China.'  And he said, 'We will sell beef in China.'  And we did other things too.  But the one that really is the most interesting for the people at this table is beef. And I think, Governor, that made a big impact, and they’re selling a lot of beef in China that hadn’t been — for 14, 15 years, they were not allowed to sell beef in China." [Source] Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "Steel, we have taken the tariff off some countries when we’ve been able to renegotiate deals.  For instance, in South Korea, when they heard they had to pay 25 percent tariff on steel coming in, they went absolutely crazy and we made a deal.  The KORUS deal is now pretty much concluded.  And we really made that, I would say, Bob, largely because of the fact that they did not like the fact that they were having to pay tariffs on steel." [SourceRemarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governors and Members of Congress. April 12, 2018
  • "You know, you probably saw that, for many years, no President wanted to go against China, economically.  And we’re going to do it.  We had a trade deficit of almost $500 billion last year with China.  And I have great respect for the President of China, President Xi.  He’s a friend of mine, and I’m a friend of his.  And I like him a lot.  But he’s representing China, and I’m representing the United States of America." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at a Roundtable Discussion on Tax Reform. April 5, 2018
  • "Following a thorough investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) determined that China has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.  The practices detailed in the USTR’s investigation have caused concern around the world.  China’s illicit trade practices − ignored for years by Washington − have destroyed thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs.  On April 3, 2018, the USTR announced approximately $50 billion in proposed tariffs on imports from China as an initial means to obtain the elimination of policies and practices identified in the investigation. Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.  In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.  I have also instructed the Secretary of Agriculture, with the support of other members of my Cabinet, to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests." [SourceStatement from President Donald J. Trump on Additional Proposed Section 301 Remedies. April 5, 2018 
  • "We’ve helped rebuild China over the last 25 years, if you take a look at what’s happened.  We have helped rebuild China.  So we intend to get along with China, but we have to do something very substantial about the trade deficit.  And with that, nothing is easy.  I campaigned on that, I talked about that.  China won’t be the only country, but I did, in fact, campaign on it." [SourceRemarks by President Trump Before a Working Lunch with Heads of the Baltic States. April 3, 2018
  • "I have to say this: China.  I have great respect for President Xi.  Two of the most incredible days of my life were spent in China, and many of you were with me.  He’s a tremendous person.  But we have a problem with China.  They’ve created a trade deficit, and I really blame our representatives and, frankly, our preceding Presidents for this.  We have a trade deficit of $500 billion a year.  It’s not something we can live with. So we’ll be working with China.  We’ll be negotiating with China.  Again, our relationship is very good with China, and we intend to keep it that way.  But we have to do something to seriously relieve that trade deficit.  We can’t have a $500 billion-a-year trade deficit. We also have the theft of intellectual property, and that probably is in the neighborhood of $200 [billion] to $300 billion a year."  [SourceRemarks by President Trump Before a Working Lunch with Heads of the Baltic States. April 3, 2018
  • "Just this week, we secured a wonderful deal with South Korea.  We were in a deal that was a horror show.  It was going to produce 200,000 jobs, and it did — for them.  That was a Hillary Clinton special, I hate to say.  “This will produce 200,000 jobs.”  She was right, but it was for them.  It wasn’t for us. So we’ve redone it, and that’s going to level the playing field on steel and cars and trucks coming into this country.  (Applause.) And I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea.  Does everybody understand that?  Do you know why?  Right?  Do you know why?  Because it’s a very strong card, and I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly and we’re moving along very nicely with North Korea.  We’ll see what happens.  Certainly the rhetoric has calmed down just a little bit, would you say?  (Applause.)  Would you say? And we’ll see how it all turns out.  Maybe it will be good, and maybe it won’t.  And if it’s no good, we’re walking.  And if it’s good, we will embrace it.  But it’s going to be very interesting over the next period of time.  And South Korea has been wonderful, but we’ll probably hold that deal up for a little while.  See how it all plays out." [SourceRemarks by President Trump on the Infrastructure Initiative. March 30, 2018

 

  • "But we’re losing $375 billion with China.  It could be $504 billion, depending on the way you count.  A lot of different ways of counting.  But no matter how you count, it’s bad. And we’re doing something that will be the start of making trade with China more fair.  We’re so far down. [...]  That’s why we had the 301 meeting today on China." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at the Generation Next Summit Panel Discussion with Charlie Kirk. March 22, 2018
  • "I’ve been speaking with the highest Chinese representatives, including the President, and I’ve asked them to reduce the trade deficit immediately by $100 billion.  It’s a lot.  So that would be anywhere from 25 percent, depending on the way you figure, to maybe something even more than that.  But we have to do that. The word that I want to use is “reciprocal.”  When they charge 25 percent for a car to go in, and we charge 2 percent for their car to come into the United States, that’s not good.  That’s how China rebuilt itself.  The tremendous money that we’ve paid since the founding of the World Trade Organization — which has actually been a disaster for us.  It’s been very unfair to us.  The arbitrations are very unfair.  The judging has been very unfair.  And knowingly, we always have a minority and it’s not fair." [Source] Remarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "So we have a lot of things happening.  But in particular, with China, we’re going to be doing a Section 301 trade action.  It could be about $60 billion but that’s really just a fraction of what we’re talking about." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "But we have one particular problem.  And I view them as a friend; I have tremendous respect for President Xi.  We have a great relationship.  They’re helping us a lot in North Korea.  And that’s China. But we have a trade deficit, depending on the way you calculate, of $504 billion.  Now, some people would say it’s really $375 billion.  Many different ways of looking at it, but any way you look at it, it is the largest deficit of any country in the history of our world.  It’s out of control. We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on, which likewise is hundreds of billions of dollars.  And that’s on a yearly basis.  I’ve spoken to the President.  I’ve spoken to representatives of China.  We’ve been dealing with it very seriously." [SourceRemarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression. March 22, 2018
  • "On August 14, 2017, I directed the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to determine whether to investigate China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.  On August 18, 2017, the Trade Representative initiated an investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2411). [...] Section 1.  Tariffs.  (a)  The Trade Representative should take all appropriate action under section 301 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2411) to address the acts, policies, and practices of China that are unreasonable or discriminatory and that burden or restrict U.S. commerce.  The Trade Representative shall consider whether such action should include increased tariffs on goods from China." [SourcePresidential Memorandum on the Actions by the United States Related to the Section 301 Investigation. March 22, 2018
  • "The tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the following countries are suspended until May 1, 2018, pending discussions of satisfactory long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to U.S. national security:

    • Argentina;
    • Australia;
    • Brazil;
    • Canada;
    • Mexico;
    • the member countries of the European Union; and
    • South Korea.

    By May 1, 2018, the President will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs, based on the status of the discussions. " [Source] President Trump Approves Section 232 Tariff Modifications. March 22, 2018

  • "The United States is continuing discussions with Canada and Mexico, as well as the following countries, on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of steel articles from those countries: the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia), the Argentine Republic (Argentina), the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil), and the European Union (EU) on behalf of its member countries.  Each of these countries has an important security relationship with the United States and I have determined that the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports from steel articles from these countries is to continue these discussions and to exempt steel articles imports from these countries from the tariff, at least at this time." [Source] Presidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States. March 22, 2018 
  • "The United States has an important security relationship with South Korea, including our shared commitment to eliminating the North Korean nuclear threat; our decades-old military alliance; our shared commitment to addressing global excess capacity in aluminum production; and our strong economic and strategic partnership." [SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • "The United States has an important security relationship with Australia, including our shared commitment to supporting each other in addressing national security concerns, particularly through our security, defense, and intelligence partnership; the strong economic and strategic partnership between our countries; our shared commitment to addressing global excess capacity in aluminum production; and the integration of Australian persons and organizations into the national technology and industrial base of the United States." [SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • "The United States is continuing discussions with Canada and Mexico, as well as the following countries, on satisfactory alternative means to address the threatened impairment to the national security by imports of aluminum articles from those countries: the Commonwealth of Australia (Australia), the Argentine Republic (Argentina), the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil), and the European Union (EU) on behalf of its member countries.  Each of these countries has an important security relationship with the United States and I have determined that the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports from aluminum articles from these countries is to continue these discussions and to exempt aluminum articles imports from these countries from the tariff, at least at this time.[SourcePresidential Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States. March 22, 2018
  • In the video immediately below President Trump discusses the executive memorandum that he signed to impose retalitory tariffs on roughly $60 billion of imports from China in light of the US trade decifit with China. 

 

  • " If you talk China, I’ve watched where the reporters have been writing, 2 percent of our steel comes from China.  Well, that’s not right.  They transship all through other countries.  And you’ll see that a country that doesn’t even have a steel mill is sending us 3 percent steel for our country.  And many countries are doing it, but it comes from China. So China doesn’t send us 2 percent; they send us a much, much higher level than that.  But it’s called transshipping.  So it doesn’t look good when it all comes out of China, so they send it through other countries, and it comes to us.  And it’s putting our steel mills out of business.  Our aluminum mills are going out of business.  And we need steel and we need aluminum." [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "When I was with President Xi in China — as an example, we lose $500 billion a year on trade.  We have a deficit of approximately $500 billion a year with China.  And we’re doing things with China which are very strong, but they understand it.  But I was with him and I said to him in public, I said, 'Look, I’m not blaming you.  I blame our people for not doing a better job, for allowing this to happen.'" [Source] Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden in Joint Press Conference. March 6, 2018
  • "I'm renegotiating trade deals. There are no trade deals ever negotiated that have been bad like the trade deals we've had negotiated whether it's NAFTA, the deal with South Korea, TPP -- I was able to keep us out of that, that would have been a total disaster. The World Trade Organization deal, that's what really led to the emergence of China -- you look at China, they became rich when they made the World Trade Deal. The World Trade Organization, WTO. We have to change it. We can't allow our workers, our country, our companies to be ripped off like this, and they understand that." [Source] Interivew with Judge Jeanine on Fox. February 24, 2018
  • "But I’ll tell you, you know, when you talk about driving a wedge, we also have a thing called trade. And South Korea—brilliantly makes—we have a trade deficit with South Korea of $31 billion a year. That’s a pretty strong bargaining chip to me." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017
  • "Yesterday it was announced that Toyota is coming in with a very big plant in Alabama. It’s going to cost—they’re going to spend billions of dollars, four thousand jobs, create 300,000 cars a year within the country, which is what I want. Prime Minister Abe told me about it, I pressed him very hard. I said, ‘We got to get your companies building here. We don’t want a building in Japan; we want to build them here. We have a lot of plants opening, car plants opening; we have a lot of things happening that would’ve never happened under the Democrats." [SourceTranscript of Donald Trump Interview With The Wall Street Journal. January 12, 2017

For a historical list of statements and policies in 2017, click here.

######

Methodology: Policy materials and quotations from President Donald J. Trump are limited to after November 9, 2016 when he was formally elected as the 45th President of the United States. Should any quotations before the period be deemed relevant they will be indicated by an asterisk (*) after the date. In all cases, these additional quotations were made within the year prior to the start of the Trump Administration. Flag icons that indicate which countries members of the Trump administration have traveled to are provided by Freepik, accessed through www.flaticon.com.

Back to top