‘Fake news’ about China dents credibility of US
As US President Donald Trump levels accusations of “fake news” and stirs up distrust of the media, he also keeps making mistakes when it comes to economic data and continues a trade war with China based on “fake” figures.
Trump was quoted by the Washington Post and the New York Times as saying that “We have never taken in 10 cents from China. We would lose $500 billion a year with China.” It isn’t the first time such figures were mentioned by Trump. According to a post on the White House website on May 9, Trump said “we’re the piggybank that everybody steals from, including China. We’ve been paying China $500 billion a year for many, many years.”
According to data from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the US goods and services trade deficit with China was $378.6 billion in 2018. Chinese customs statistics showed the US trade deficit with China was $323 billion last year. The figure of $500 billion is quite different from the official figures when it comes to the US trade deficit with China.
What’s more, data compiled by Factcheck.org show the US collected more than $10 billion in customs duties on Chinese imports each year from 2010 to 2018. It is unreasonable to say the US has “never taken in 10 cents from China.”
Trump may need a factcheck of his remarks before delivering speeches, posting tweets or rolling out policies.
Trump formally launched his re-election campaign with a rally on Tuesday in Florida. The American people need to figure out whether the president will rely on false figures or claims to “Keep America Great.”
False claims made by a president can do nothing but affect the image of a country. Trump has more than once accused China of manipulating its currency, but the US Treasury in May again decided not to label China as a currency manipulator. Trump accuses China but doesn’t even have the evidence to persuade officials in his government. With the US economy mired in multiple hidden perils amid trade tensions, it is advised that the Trump administration not resort to extreme repression for the sake of winning re-election. The only way out is to get back on track to restore trade ties with China. The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopin[email protected] globaltimes.com.cn