President Donald Trump is giving his trade deal with China false credit for generating the purchases of U.S. goods that Beijing agreed to make.
BY PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is giving his trade deal with China false credit for generating the purchases of U.S. goods that Beijing agreed to make. Chinese imports of U.S. products are actually running at less than half of what Trump negotiated, and it’s even worse for American farmers who sell to China.
TRUMP, on China’s adherence to the trade deal his administration negotiated with Beijing: “They are living – they’re more than living … up to it. … Because they know I’m very angry at them.” — “Fox & Friends” interview Monday.
THE FACTS: That’s not true. China is falling well short of its commitments under the trade deal.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics, which has been tracking China’s purchases, found this month that U.S. exports of goods to China should have totaled $71.3 billion from January through June to be on track to reach this year’s target under the Phase 1 deal. Instead, they topped out at $33.1 billion, only 46% of what they should be.
The shortfall in promised Chinese purchases of U.S. farm products is even bigger. Those purchases totaled $6.5 billion, only 39% of purchases that should have reached $16.7 billion through June.
The gap is perhaps not surprising, given that world trade has been badly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump did not negotiate provisions giving China leeway in any downturn. It’s conceivable, if unlikely, that Chinese purchases will pick it up in the second half of the year enough to make up for the shortfall.
But in no sense is China more than living up to the deal now.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.
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