President Donald Trump said Sunday he’s “not a miner” and he’s not a coal-burning coal plant owner at a Chinese coal mine.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Trump said he believes coal is not “a problem” in China, where a string of accidents has rocked the coal industry and forced China to slash output.
“I’m not a miner, I’m not an owner of a coal plant.
I’m a farmer,” Trump said.
“So I’ve got to do a lot of things to try to make it more attractive for China.”
He added that he thinks the U.S. is “a lot better off” with China buying U.K. coal than “they are with us buying coal from us.”
“So if I get elected, I will make it so that the U., the United States, and China will be trading coal, because we’ve got a lot more coal,” Trump added.
He said the Chinese government needs to “stop buying it” and that they have “a great coal market” in the U, but “they need to get out of that.”
“If they’re going to have a great coal business in the United Sates, I don’t know if they want to have that.
I mean, it’s going to be very expensive,” he said.
Trump’s comments come amid growing concern in China over what has been dubbed the “coalgate” scandal.
Coal mining has been a mainstay of the Chinese economy, with the country spending $2 trillion on the sector since the late 1990s.
The scandal has forced the government to revise its environmental assessment and increase its reliance on coal mining, prompting a steep drop in coal prices.
The Trump administration’s decision to suspend imports of Chinese coal and impose stricter export controls has also hurt the Chinese industry.
Trump has faced criticism from the coal lobby over the Chinese move, as well as other companies that he has invested in.
In December, the Trump administration imposed a moratorium on new coal leases and halted new construction in parts of Appalachia, a region rich in coal.