China has taken out $500 billion and more a year from the US to rebuild itself, President Donald Trump has said as he defended his controversial trade policies, including the latest move to slap duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Trump's remarks came a day after Trump announced that the US will slap 10 per cent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and the duties will rise to whopping 25 per cent at the end of the year.
"If you look at what's going on, our market is going up like a rocket ship. I don't want their market to go down, but their market is down 32 per cent in three months. Because we can't let them do anymore what they've done," he said.
He said China rebuilt itself with the "tremendous amount" of money pouring out of the US.
"Over the last number of years, China has taken out of this country $500 billion and more a year. That would go a long way for Poland, wouldn't it? You could rebuild your whole country. And that's what China did," he said addressing a joint news conference with the visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda at the White House.
Trump said he keeps a close watch on trade deficits as it was "very important".
"When a country has USD 375 billion in trade deficits, and then many billions of dollars in other liabilities of all different types, one has to do something about it," said the US President.
Trump said the US has become a "piggy bank" to the world.
"We have been ripped off by China. We've been ripped off by the European Union. We've been ripped off by everybody," he said.
Responding to a question on his announcement of trade tariffs against China, Trump said, "It got to a point where the numbers were too big. This should have been done for the last 20 years. If you look at the World Trade Organisation, that's when China really happened, economically. It was like a rocket ship, because they took advantage of the rules of the WTO.