Trump admits to having 'second thoughts' on his trade war with China

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  • US president Donald Trump admits to having "second thoughts" on his his ongoing trade war with China.
  • However, Trump told reporters that he had pushed ahead with the trade war due to China's "outrageous" behaviour.
  • Allies urged Trump to drop tariffs or risk being blamed for a global recession.
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.

 Donald Trump has admitted to having "second thoughts" on his ongoing trade war with China.

Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, the president was asked whether he had thought twice about his decision to impose tariffs.

"Sure. Why not?" he replied, adding that "I have second thoughts about everything."

However, he insisted that he had pushed ahead due to China's "outrageous" behaviour.

"Presidents and administrations allowed them to get away with taking hundreds of billions of dollars out every year and putting it into China," he said. 

The comments came as Trump was warned by allies that he risks pushing the world into a global recession.

Read more: Trump will be blamed for a global recession if he continues his trade war with China, says Boris Johnson

UK prime minister Boris Johnson warned the president that he risked being blamed for a downturn if it happened.

Speaking ahead of his meeting on Sunday with the president, Johnson warned Trump that his trade war was "not the way to proceed," and risked pushing the global economy into a downturn.

"Apart from anything else, those who support the tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy irrespective of whether or not that is true," he told reporters on Saturday.

Watch Trump say he had 'second thoughts' on his China trade war.

 

Johnson said other countries, including the UK are "at risk of being implicated in this."

"We [the UK] face tariffs of altogether £2.25 billion - that's the value of the goods affected, £1.1 billion on whisky alone - that we could face if this goes on. This is not the way to proceed."

He called on the president to change tack and go for an "opening up of global trade," instead.

"I want to see a dialling down of tensions and I want to see tariffs come off," he said.

European Council president Donald Tusk also urged Trump to think again, saying on Saturday that "Trade wars will lead to recession, while trade deals will boost the economy."

Trump denied to reporters that world leaders were pressuring him on the issue.

"Nobody would tell me that," he told reporters, adding that "I think they respect the trade war."

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