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Trump’s Dubious Claims About China

In remarks to the press in Iowa and before departing for Iowa, President Donald Trump talked about ongoing trade negotiations with China, and the possibility of enacting further tariffs. But Trump distorted the facts on several points.

Economists: Tariffs Not Boosting GDP

Tariffs imposed by the Trump administration have a small, negative impact on gross domestic product growth, according to economists, the Congressional Budget Office, the International Monetary Fund and the top White House economic adviser. That contradicts President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that the tariffs have boosted the GDP.

Trump: 17 Repeats in 17 Hours

Over the course of 17 hours, President Donald Trump repeated 17 false and misleading claims that we have written about since he became president.

Trump Wrong on China Trade, Again

President Trump falsely claimed that the U.S. has “never taken in 10 cents from China” in tariffs, but “now we’re taking in billions and billions of dollars.” The U.S. has collected billions in customs duties on Chinese imports for years, although the amount has increased since the trade war with China began.

Does China Pay Tariffs?

President Donald Trump is fond of saying that China is paying the U.S. billions of dollars in increased tariffs. Not true. Tariffs are taxes paid by U.S. importers in the form of customs duties, and to some extent by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices.

Trump’s Habit of Inflating Trade Deficits

When asked whether he would impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union, President Donald Trump, as he regularly does, used an inflated figure for the trade balance between the U.S. and the EU. The deficit was $101 billion for 2017, not $151 billion, as he repeatedly claims.

Is Mexico Paying for the Wall Through USMCA?

President Donald Trump declared via Twitter that he is keeping perhaps his most famous campaign promise, claiming that “MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!” through a recent trade agreement negotiated with Mexico. But economic and trade experts we interviewed said that’s not possible.