"And I want someone to bring me some tariffs".
Trump, addressing Kelly, said, "John, you haven't been in a trade discussion before, so I want to share with you my views. I can't put a tariff on IP", Trump reportedly explained to Kelly.
John Kelly's first week as White House Chief of Staff, the former Homeland Security secretary called a meeting to discuss the administration's plans to investigate China for stealing US intellectual property and technology. He was referring to Trump's memo prodding Lighthizer to investigate China - which may lead to tariffs against Beijing.
The memorandum was just the latest sign of action from the Trump administration aimed at countering Chinese trade practices.
Kelly's directive that Trump's senior-most aides hash out their differences away from the President was not the last time Kelly gave that direction as part of his efforts to instill a new sense of order among rival factions and end the squabbles that so frequently took place in front of the President before Kelly assumed his new role. Trump didn't pay attention to it, saying "I don't even know what I'm looking at here". I know there are some globalists in the room right now.
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Kelly eventually ended the meeting, assuring Trump the group would work things out and reconvene later.
"John, let me tell you why they didn't bring me any tariffs", Trump said. "I know there are some globalists in the room right now", he reportedly said. "But I'm telling you, I want tariffs".
A White House official responded to the above account by telling Axios: "The president has been very clear about his agenda as it relates to trade".
President Trump demanded tariffs against China and called his top economic advisers "globalists" for failing to carry out his agenda, according to a report. "Discussions pertaining to specific tariffs and trade deals are ongoing and have already resulted in many positive developments".
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