Schumer: Trump 'all talk and no action' on China

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What might Trump's Syrian attack mean for China?_00000000

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Story highlights

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Donald Trump's strike in Syria was appropriate
  • The New York Democrat did caution the President about his comments on China and North Korea

(CNN)Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer held a conference call with reporters Tuesday to blast President Donald Trump's handling of trade issues with China -- including what he called China's unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and more.

"China has taken us to the cleaner when it comes to the economy. China has stolen millions of jobs and trillions of dollars," Schumer said, noting that he had agreed with much of Trump's rhetoric about getting tough on China during the campaign. "By any measure, the Chinese government has pulled the rug out from the United States and administrations from both parties haven't been strong enough to fight back."
But Schumer said since Trump took office he has been "all talk and no action" on China.
"He had a golden opportunity to win concessions from President Xi when he visited last week. But unfortunately, President Trump has come home empty handed. The two countries have said they will work on a 100-day plan to bring better balance to the trade relationship. That means virtually nothing," Schumer said.
He was asked about Trump's tweet Tuesday linking possible trade deals to China's handling of the nuclear threat from North Korea.
"The Chinese have done nothing on North Korea and I don't they will unless they think America is tough," Schumer said. "The tougher we are on trade, the more likely the Chinese are going to do something on North Korea."
"I think what he (Trump) is saying is if they are tough on North Korea, I'll go easier on trade. First, ask the American people if they like that deal, and they won't," said Schumer who indicated he told the President that before Trump met with Xi. "I told him the tougher you are on one, the more likely you'll get on the other. I won't tell you what he said, but not much."

Concerns about Syria

On Syria, Schumer said the strike to retaliate for Syria's use of chemical weapons was appropriate but that if Trump wants to do more he needs to devise a strategy and present it to Congress. He said Democrats are very concerned about getting into a land war in Syria.
"Any further action he should come to Congress. There should be a defined strategy. I, for one, am really, really wary and worried about getting committed to another land war and making the same mistakes we did in Iraq," Schumer said explaining that his caucus would be "very dubious" of that happening.
Schumer said Democrats believe the big focus instead should be at home, especially on infrastructure and job creation.