WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist and 2016 campaign CEO, had a fiery response on Wednesday to Wall Street’s dim view of Trump’s trade actions against China.
“Ask the working people in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan about Wall Street. Wall Street supported and cheered on the export of their jobs. To hell with Wall Street if they don’t like it. It’s time somebody stood up to them and Donald Trump is the perfect guy. Wall Street is always short term. Trump is trying to protect the beating heart of American capitalism – our innovation,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Bannon, who maintains ties to the White House, said Trump’s recent moves to impose tariffs are a signal to the Chinese that “the game of continual delay is over” and that they will have to address the central issue of forced technology transfers.”
“It’s full throwdown. Trump has planned this out for a long time. He led with the smart things, forced technology transfers. It’s obvious the Chinese have no real response to this. I think they played completely into his hands. By putting tariffs on agricultural products and avoiding addressing the technology questions they’ve shown once again they consider us nothing more than a tributary state.”
“This is the beating heart of American capitalism: Technology innovation that the Chinese have either stolen or forced American companies to turn over. Trump has signaled that those days are over,” he said.
Just 11 hours after the Trump administration proposed 25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 Chinese industrial technology, transport and medical products, China responded with a list of similar duties on key American imports including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by James Dalgleish)