WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) - Steve Bannon, U.S. 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.”
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Donald Trump and Steve Bannon
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon
US President Donald Trump (L) congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.
(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), is joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, as he speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2017. Jonathan Ernst: "Very early in the Trump administration, weekends were as busy as weekdays. On Trump's second Saturday the official schedule said he would be making private phone calls to a number of world leaders including Russia's Vladimir Putin. I arrived early and, before sitting down at my desk walked up to Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office. He, too, was just taking his coat off. I gingerly made the suggestion that previous administrations had sometimes allowed photos of such phone calls through the Oval Office windows on the colonnade. To my mild shock, he didn't even think about it twice. "We'll do it!" he said. In truth, I really only expected the Putin call, but we were outside the windows multiple times throughout the day as the calls went on."
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to chief strategist Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2017.
Trump advisers Steve Bannon (L) and Jared Kushner (R) listen as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with members of his Cabinet at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2017.
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (C) and campaign CEO Steve Bannon (R) listen to National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger Caitlin Kostic (2nd R) on a brief visit to Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 22, 2016.
U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat the Islamic State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. Pictured with him are White House senior advisor Steve Bannon (L-R), National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Vice President Mike Pence, Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway.
Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as US President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Senior Advisor Jared Kusher, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump arrive at the start of a meeting with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA).
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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“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)