“nobody’s cheated better than China”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump won't use the word "cheat" except when he does. You know, in the same incoherent sentence.

Trump delivered an economic speech in New York this morning where he said a trade deal with China is "close," but he also used the opportunity to belittle and attack China.

In comments that may or may not have repercussions, Trump said China has "cheated" the United States.

“Since China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, no one has manipulated better or taken advantage of the United States more,” Trump said. “I will not say the word ‘cheated,’ but nobody’s cheated better than China, I will say that.” [...]

Rather than lay the blame on China, though, Trump said that previous leaders who negotiated trade deals allowed manipulation of trade agreements that hurt American workers, particularly those in the manufacturing industry.

And what is Trump's trade war doing if not hurting American workers in the manufacturing industry? American manufacturing is currently in recession.

Most of what Trump says is a lie or misleading at best, as you know, but his solutions are also a lie. His theoretical trade deal is a lie.

Trump could get everything he wants from his "greatest and biggest deal ever" and it won't make a bit of difference in the structure of our economy or the macroeconomic conditions that compel American consumers to import cheaper goods from foreign countries.

There is nothing in Trump's hypothetical deal that will bring jobs back from overseas or make American exports any more appealing than they were before his trade war began if it even does that. American exports will be just as undesirable as they are today if the deal doesn't roll back any of Trump's tariffs or China's retaliatory tariffs.

Rather than convince American firms that they should return to the United States, it's just if not more likely that Trump's trade war has convinced a larger number of capital managers that automating labor is the solution to curbing labor costs to produce cheaper goods. But automated factories will also be built overseas where construction costs are lower and it will be Chinese workers who lose their jobs to a robot. And that's the end game.

Trump also said China is "dying to make a deal" with him, implying that they're desperate, and I expect Chinese state media will respond soon.

  • muselet

    It sounds to me like Donald Trump is trying to drive China away from negotiations so he can claim he wanted to make a deal, but those awful cheaters just wouldn’t go along.

    The only people who will believe a word of it are wearing red MAGA hats.