Trump Walks Away From India Empty Handed
February 25, 2020
Trump went to India to reach a trade deal that he said would help farmers. He came away empty handed. Whatever happened to the master dealmaker?
Trump, the self-proclaimed master dealmaker, is walking away from India with no apparent progress on a trade deal he’s been working on for more than a year.
Politico: “President Donald Trump will close out his 36-hour trip to India Tuesday without striking a long-coveted trade deal to ease tariffs… The self-proclaimed master dealmaker is arguing that he is holding out for a bigger and better deal. Trump said during the trip that his team was in ‘the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement,’ even though his staff had been working on a deal for more than a year and had indicated just days before the visit that it would be cinched while in India.”
Trump’s trip focused on pageantry instead of progress on important issues.
Associated Press: “Trump’s India visit prioritizes pageantry over policy.”
Wall Street Journal: “The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies focused their discussion on complimenting each other, instead of the two countries’ sticking points on trade or deadly protests in New Delhi over a controversial new citizenship law.”
Trump continued to lie about his failed trade policies. Trump said he “made up the difference” for farmers and that they’re “really doing well.”
TRUMP: “They were targeted and I made up the difference, as you know, with the tariffs that came from China. So they got targeted from China, and then I took money from China and gave it to the farmers. And frankly, they didn’t want it. They just want a level playing field. They’re incredible people. But they did well, but now they’re really doing well because you’re seeing the numbers coming out, and it’s going to be something very special.”
Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday said it expects farm debt in 2020 to rise to a record $425 billion, up from $415 billion last year. The debt-to-asset ratio for farms remains at its highest point in more than 15 years, the USDA said, and farm bankruptcies jumped 24% last year.”
Trump also said that his China trade deal meant China would be spending $50 billion on U.S. farm product.
TRUMP: “We just signed a deal with China, and they’re going to be spending $250 billion a year now in our country. $50 billion will go – 40-to-50 – will go to the farmers with the purchase of farm product. But China’s been, you know, it’s going to be a great deal. It’s a great deal.”
The truth: Trump’s China trade deal will only boostfarm exports by $3 billion — nowhere close to the $50 billion he promised.
Successful Farming: “China will buy $14 billion of U.S. ag products this year, $3 billion more than forecast before the Phase One agreement was signed, said USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson on Thursday.”
Despite Trump’s promises, farmers across the country continue to struggle because of his failed trade policies and empty promises.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen to all the family farms, but something’s got to change pretty quick because we just cannot survive.” – Michigan farmer
“I really wasn’t going to survive as a rancher without outside income, or I was going to work myself to death doing 15-hour days.” – Kansas rancher
“So, we’re dealing with a lot of things. I don’t know, we could be waiting another year for prices to recover. I hate to say that… On top of all of it, China not buying from us because of the tariffs is cause for what’s happened.” – Iowa farmer
“There’s too many questions to say ‘we’re gonna go ahead and up our bean acres. We’re gonna plant more soy beans because we think the market’s going to go up’ because we just don’t know enough at this point.” – Ohio farmer