Tapping into the candidate of the 2016 campaign who repeatedly pledged to "bring back" US companies to American soil, the president has made some bombshell Labor Day remarks strongly hinting at decoupling the US and Chinese economies.
"So when you mention the word decouple, it's an interesting word," Trump introduced at a White House news conference, and added:
"We lose billions of dollars and if we didn't do business with them we wouldn't lose billions of dollars. It's called decoupling, so you'll start thinking about it," he said.
He had noted that China is buying more US agricultural products, suggesting an American loss wouldn't be so great if such a dramatic strategy were pursued.
He further teased the possibility that American companies that outsource to China won't get crucial access to federal contracts, though it appears he's in the process of "thinking" about it, as many news sources noted.
Furthering this theme, he said of the US economy that if re-elected "we'll make America a manufacturing super-power."
"I do not want them to build a military like they are building right now" -- this is as bellicose as I've heard Trump be about China pic.twitter.com/8fNBn0d1Xn— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2020
He called it "the most important election in history" given that if "Biden wins, China will own this country."
In perhaps the most bellicose statements he's made on China thus far, Trump linked China's expanding military capabilities to its lucrative trade deals and technology it can access from US companies:
"We'll end our reliance on China once and for all, whether it's decoupling or putting in massive tariffs like I've been doing already. We're gonna end our reliance on China, because we can't rely on China. I do not want them to build a military like they are building right now - they're using our money to build it."
"We're rebounding much more quickly from the pandemic" than other western economies, he underscored during the remarks.
Speaking of military readiness, another interesting section of the speech indirectly referenced the anonymously sourced claims that Trump recently insulted the troops: "I'm not saying the military's in love with me. The soldiers are," Trump said. "The top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars, so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy."