Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 11, 2019
‘We won’t back down.’ Donald Trump talks tough on China trade ahead of high-stakes meeting
On the eve of high-stakes trade talks with China, President Donald Trump used a rally in Florida to ramp up his rhetoric about the prospects of a new agreement to de-escalate a widening tariff battle with Beijing.
“We won’t back down until China stops stealing our jobs,” Trump told the audience of a rally in Panama City Beach on Wednesday. “We don’t have to do business with them.”
While claiming earlier in the day that a Chinese trade delegation is “coming to the U.S. to make a deal,” Trump also said the trade rivals may be pulling back from an agreement in the hopes that a Democratic president will be elected in 2020.
“They broke the deal,” Trump told supporters. “They can’t do that.”
U.S. and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to meet Thursday, four days after Trump threatened new tariffs if China refused to sign onto a new trade agreement.
While Trump said China wants a deal, he has said he is also happy with tariffs that he claims put “over $100 Billion a year” in U.S. coffers – a claim most economists say is the wrong analysis because China retaliates with tariffs of its own, and both countries pass on the costs of tariffs to consumers.
Tariff revenue “is a transfer of wealth from Americans to the government, with new tariffs hitting more consumer goods and lower-income households,” said Riley Walters, a policy analyst for Asia’s economy and technology with The Heritage Foundation. “Chinese don’t pay American taxes.” (USA Today)
“Graeme MacKay, for instance, notes the repeated claim in Trump speeches, in which he claims that China is paying millions of dollars in tariffs.”