Trade

Trump touts ‘$300 billion’ in trade deals with Asia

President Donald Trump touted the economic successes of his trip to Asia Tuesday, telling reporters that the five-nation tour had netted the U.S. “at least $300 billion” in trade deals.

“We’ve had a tremendously successful trip. Tremendous amounts of work was done on trade, not only on the deals — and we have at least $300 billion worth of deals, but that will be, I think, way triple that number in a fairly short period of time,” Trump said in remarks to the press as he left the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

More important than the unconfirmed dollar figure, the president said, was the message he conveyed throughout his trip that “the United States is open for trade, but we want reciprocal trade.” He reiterated his regular criticism of past administrations, that they allowed the U.S. to be taken advantage of on the world economic stage.

One deal that earned specific mention from Trump is Vietnam’s $12 billion order from Boeing, one that the president said came even though “they were going a different route.” It was unclear if Trump was referring to an $11.3 billion deal between Boeing and Vietnam’s VietJet airline signed in 2016 during a visit by former President Barack Obama or if Vietnam had placed an additional order with Boeing.

Trump said his five-nation trip had also strengthened U.S. relationships, noting especially that ties with the Philippines, which Trump said were “horrible” under Obama, had been repaired.

“We all worked hard. But I think the fruits of our labor are going to be incredible,” Trump said. “Whether it’s security of our nations, whether it’s security of the world, or whether it’s trade. And it’s going to really amount to a lot.”

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