Interview Broadcast on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (6AM-9AM ET) Tomorrow, Friday, January 26 Ahead of President Trump’s Address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
President Trump On Trade:
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President Trump: I like bilateral, because if you have a problem, you terminate. When you’re in with many countries - like with TPP, so you have 12 if we were in - you don’t have that same, you know you don’t have that same option. But somebody asked me the other day would I do TPP? Here’s my answer - I will give you a big story - I would do TPP if we made a much better deal than we had. We had a horrible deal. The deal was a horrible deal. NAFTA’s a horrible deal, we’re renegotiating it. I may terminate NAFTA I may not - we’ll see what happens. but NAFTA was a - and I went around and I tell stadiums full of people, I may re-enter or I may terminate.
Joe Kernen: so you might re-enter or? Are you opening up the door to re-opening TPP or?
President Trump: I only say this, I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP.
Joe Kernen: that’s interesting. Would you handicap...
President Trump: Are you surprised to hear me say that?
Joe Kernen: I am, I’m a little taken aback.
President Trump: Don’t be surprised, no but we have to make a better deal, the deal was a bad deal, like the Iran deal is a bad deal, these are bad deals
Joe Kernen: Maybe NAFTA, maybe not NAFTA, can you give me any indication of which way you’re leaning because there’s a lot of people, a lot of the CEOs that have been on here, they all seem to acknowledge that it’s 30 years later and there’s a lot of changes that make a lot of sense but to not abandon the deal. Will you-
President Trump: Hey Joe, we have a trade deficit with Mexico, Mexico. $ 71 billion dollars a year, right? We have a trade deficit with Canada of a substantial amount of money - I have a number but they keep arguing it, they keep saying, so I won’t say it, I won’t tell you it’s $17 million okay? We have a trade deficit with Canada. We have a massive trade deficit with Mexico. We gotta do something. We can’t continue to do this.
Joe Kernen: Are you leaning towards staying in or would you really go out completely?
President Trump: I’ve always said the during campaign and as you have noticed, and as you have actually said a couple of times which I have always appreciated, I have fulfilled a lot of what I’ve said and I’m only here a year, you know I think I have 4 years, maybe another 4 years ok?
Joe Kernen: We will see on that.
President Trump: If we keep going, we’ll see what happens but Joe, we have a $71 billion a year deficit with Mexico. We gotta do something, we can’t have that. So, will it be renegotiated? We’re trying right now with Bob Lighthizer and the whole group - I think we have a good chance but we’ll see what happens.
President Trump On The Dollar:
President Trump: I think they were taken out of context, cause I read his exact statement and I’ll tell you where I stand, which ultimately is very important. Number one I don’t like talking about it because frankly nobody should be talking about it. It should be what it is, it should also be based on the strength of the country - we are doing so well. Our country is becoming so economically strong again and strong in other ways too, by the way that the dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar.
President Trump On The World Economic Forum:
President Trump: When I decided to come to Davos, I didn’t think in terms of elitist or globalist, I thought in terms of lots people that want to invest lots of money and they’re all coming back to the United States, they’re coming back to America. And I thought of it much more in those terms. After I said that I was going, there were massive stories about ‘the elite’ and ‘the globalists’ and the planes flying in and everything else. It’s not about that, it’s about coming to America, investing in money, creating jobs, companies coming in, we’re setting records every week, every day, we’re setting records - you see what’s going on, Apple now with $350 billion dollars - most people thought they meant $350 million, which would build a nice plant. But I spoke with Tim Cook and I was very honored by - you remember my campaign, I said I won’t consider this great until Apple starts coming in and really investing big money, doing the plants, they’re gonna do a lot and - but so many companies are coming in.