Trump Continues Making False Claims About Trade War Progress
President Donald Trump continues to spread falsehoods about the deadlocked U.S-China trade talks, this time claiming thousands of companies have fled China because of the trade war he ignited but without citing any proof to back-up his false claim.
He also repeated another falsehood, predicting a swift end to the ongoing trade war, again without citing any proof.
Observers noted that Trump made both false claims despite there being no high-level trade talks between both countries after Trump imposed additional tariffs on Chinese imports last May 15.
"It's happening, it's happening fast and I think things probably are going to happen with China fast because I cannot imagine that they can be thrilled with thousands of companies leaving their shores for other places," said Trump on Thursday during remarks at the White House.
Trump also said he will meet with President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting next month in Japan. China has not said if Xi has consented to meet with Trump.
Trump apparently made both false claims to deflect attention from the hardships American farmers are enduring because of his trade war against China. He made the allegations after his administration made a second aid package to embattled American farmers, especially soybean farmers, that have been very badly hit by Trump's trade war.
U.S. media has reported a number of suicides among farmers unable to cope with the hardships inflicted on then by Trump's trade war. More and more farmers are going out of business.
Last week, U.S. media carried a horrific report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that farmers have the highest rates of suicide in the country by more than 30 percent.
Matt Perdue, Government Relations Director at the National Farmers Union, said farmers and ranchers have the highest rate of suicide by any occupational group in the U.S. The suicide rate among these people is higher than veterans returning from the war, said Perdue.
Trump yesterday sought to temper farmer anger against him by announcing his administration will spend an additional $16 billion to help farmers suffering from Trump's trade war.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday said Trump approved the farmer aid to undermine China's efforts to retaliate against U.S. tariffs.
"Well, President Trump feels what they're trying to do is really outlast him and that's not gonna work. Their economy has hurt a lot more than our agricultural economy and that's why President Trump has authorized a $16 billion facilitation program," said Perdue.
He also repeated the Trump lie that "China's gonna pay for these" -- a falsehood made repeatedly by Trump.
Economists have always said the tariffs are being paid for by companies importing goods into the U.S. and are often passed on to U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices.
In 2018, Trump promised farmers a $12 billion aid package to help mitigate the first wave of Chinese retaliatory measures after Trump imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports.