- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

President Trump said Tuesday that he secured trade deals that will be worth more than $1 trillion to the U.S. on his 12-day trip through Asia.

“We’ve had a tremendously successful trip,” Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One after leaving a summit in the Philippines. “We have at least $300 billion worth of deals.”

The president predicted the value of those agreements with U.S. companies such as Boeing will quadruple.

“It’s minimum $300 billion, and that’s going to be very quickly over a trillion dollars,” Mr. Trump said. “And I would say that’s the least significant thing that we accomplished.”

During the tour that also took him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, Mr. Trump said his biggest accomplishment on trade was “letting people know that, from now on, things are going to be reciprocal.”

“As I said in China, and I said very loud and very clear, the United States has been taken advantage of,” the president said. “They’re very giving, and they don’t get in return. So we want fair trade. What’s good for them is good for us. And we’ll see a lot of great things happen.”

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump calls Asia trip ‘fruitful’ with trade progress, nuclear reassurance

As he embarked on the 22-hour flight that brought him back to Washington Tuesday night, Mr. Trump even expressed a camaraderie with his traveling press corps.

“My press, I feel so sorry for them,” he told reporters, to laughter. “They’re exhausted. And I very much appreciate your time. I know how hard you worked also. We all worked hard. But I think the fruits of our labor are going to be incredible, whether it’s security of our nations, whether it’s security of the world or whether it’s trade.”

Before leaving Manila, Mr. Trump told foreign leaders at the East Asia Summit that they must work together to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically in order to compel the regime to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

“I call on all nations to join the United States in ensuring the complete, verifiable and total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Trump said. “We must continue to implement U.N. Security Council sanctions, cut off all ties of trade and commerce, end all guest worker flows and curtail diplomatic ties.”

The president also raised concerns about China’s expanding territorial claims in the South China Sea.

“Ensuring regional security will also require all nations to respect freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea,” Mr. Trump said. “I remain concerned about China’s efforts to build and militarize outposts in the South China Sea. The United States supports the peaceful resolution of all territorial disputes.”

Meanwhile, three UCLA basketball players were on their way back to the U.S. Tuesday after President Trump asked China’s president personally to intervene on their shoplifting charges.

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, who were arrested after being accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, were released and are traveling back home.

Mr. Trump said Tuesday he personally intervened with Chinese President Xi Jinping to seek their release.

“I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now.”

The team’s trip to play its season opener in Shanghai coincided with Mr. Trump’s state visit to Beijing.

Mr. Trump said of the situation: “What they did was unfortunate. You’re talking about very long prison sentences. And hopefully everything is going to work out. But it’s a very, very rough situation with what happened to them. That was not something that should have happened.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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