Trump Is Still Losing To China
July 2, 2020
Trump said he’d get tough on China, but he didn’t. Trump lost the trade war he started and said would be easy to win, and he was so eager to secure a trade deal to protect his reelection that he let China off the hook for its pandemic cover-up. Trump’s failures have taken a devastating toll. Nearly 130,000 Americans have lost their lives and we’re facing the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. He put himself first, and Americans last.
Now, despite the Trump administration’s lies, we know that China isn’t living up to its meager commitments in the deal. It’s clear that Trump got played, and American workers and farmers have paid the price.
New data from Trump’s Commerce Department confirms that through May, China was still $130 billion short of its trade deal commitments for 2020 and even behind pre-trade war levels.
Politico’s Doug Palmer: “U.S. goods exports to China for the first five months of 2020 totaled $40.2 billion, about 20 percent less than the same period in 2017, the monthly Commerce Department report showed, raising more questions about whether Beijing will meet the purchase goal in Trump’s trade deal.”
Customs Administration data showed China had only bought about 19% of their 2020 trade deal commitment through the first five months of the year.
Bloomberg: “By the end of May this year, China had only bought about 19% of the total purchase target of more than $170 billion for goods in 2020, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Customs Administration data. That means China needs to buy about $139 billion in the remainder of the year to meet the terms of the agreement signed in January.”
Despite data to the contrary, the Trump administration continues to take China at its word that they’re living up to the trade deal.
LIGHTHIZER: “Every contact I’ve had with the Chinese, they have reaffirmed their commitment to living up to the agreement.”
MNUCHIN: “I have every expectation that they will. They have continued to tell us they will, as recently as last week when Secretary Pompeo met with one of the senior people who flew in from China and they had a summit. So I have that expectation that they will live up to their obligation.”
TRUMP: “We just signed a deal with China, but unfortunately, in that case, the ink wasn’t even dry, and all of the sudden, the plague came in — and so I view it a little bit differently, perhaps. But they’ve been living up to the deal. They’re buying a lot of — a lot of things. They never had any deal. They just came in and took advantage of the United States. Took out hundreds of billions of dollars a year. So they don’t do that anymore, but it’s a terrible thing that happened.”
Trump has even repeatedly claimed China would buy far more than the $200 billion target.
TRUMP: “Phase one will also see China greatly expand imports of the — to the United States. We want to buy a lot of their product inexpensively. But we have an additional $200 [billion]. They are going to be what — what is, to me, very important. Number one, they’re going to be spending much more than $200 billion over the next two years, including up to $50 billion just on agriculture alone.”
TRUMP: “And this is going to be a great agreement for both countries. It’s far greater than $200 billion, and it’ll grow every year.” [Trump Remarks In Luncheon With Vice Premier Liu He Of The People’s Republic Of China, Washington DC, 1/15/20]
TRUMP: “But– the deal is a phenomenal deal. We will take in $250 billion– they’re going to be buying $250 billion, and it could go a lot higher than that.”
TRUMP: “Additionally, China will spend an additional $200 billion over two years on American services, agriculture, and energy, and manufactured goods. So we’ll be taking in an excess of $200 billion; could be closer to $300 billion when it finishes.”
TRUMP: “Well, I did a trade deal with China, where China is supposed to be spending $250 billion in our country. We’re going to be watching very much to see. Now, it got a little bit waylaid by the virus. But, look, I’d love to have a good relationship with China.”
TRUMP: “So I just made a deal with China where they’re going to put in $250 billion of product. They’re going to be — they’re going to be buying $250- — 50; from 40 to 50 — billion in farm. I want to see what’s happening with China. I want to see how they’re doing on it: Are they fulfilling the deal, the transaction?”