WASHINGTON – Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, said over the weekend that Americans are going to just have to "accept the pain" of the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.
Graham said Sunday that notable lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said "China cheats" and Democrats, specifically, have been claiming that the U.S. should stand up to China.
"Now Trump is," Graham said during an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation." "We’ve just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China. How do you get China to change without creating some pain on them and us? I don’t know."
The South Carolina Republican's comments come days after markets plunged Friday after China raised tariffs on $75 billion in American products. Trump later on Friday also raised tariffs on $550 billion in goods.
'They mean business.': Trump tells G7 that Chinese trade officials called to restart talks
Trump, who is currently in France for the G7 conference, on Sunday expressed regret on escalating the trade war several times. However, the White House later that day backtracked on his comments, saying the president regretted "not raising the tariffs higher" on China.
On Monday, the president claimed Chinese officials called to restart talks amid the escalating trade war.
Graham conceded Sunday that "consumer prices on commodities are going to go up" and that "we're now at that part in the trade war where you feel price increases at Walmart."
However, the South Carolina Senator continued to defend Trump's tactic.
“Mr. President, listen, you’ve got more bullets than they do. They sell us a lot more stuff than we sell them,” he said “The goal is to get them to change their behavior.”
Contributing: John Fritze and Michael Collins
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Graham says US must 'accept the pain' of trade war