Trump says China suffering from trade conflict

US President Donald Trump repeated his claim today that China is suffering most in the trade conflict with the US. — Reuters pic
US President Donald Trump repeated his claim today that China is suffering most in the trade conflict with the US. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, May 30 — President Donald Trump repeated his claim today that China is suffering most in the trade conflict with the United States, saying the punitive tariffs are having a “devastating effect.”

And after talks broke down earlier this month, he said his tough strategy is working.

“I think we’re doing very well with China,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “China would love to make a deal with us. We had a deal, they broke the deal. I think if they had it to do again they wouldn’t have done what they did.”

Trump this month accused Beijing of reneging on previously made commitments in the talks, which had appeared close to producing a deal, and he immediately imposed additional tariffs on US$200 billion (RM837.6 billion) in Chinese goods.

He continues to claim erroneously that China is paying for the tariffs, creating a windfall for US government coffers. The cost is actually borne by importers and consumers.

“The tariffs are having a devastating effect on China. People are fleeing the country with their companies,” Trump said. “These companies are leaving for Vietnam, other parts of Asia.” 

“I can tell you, China very much wants to make a deal,” he said. “China is becoming a very weakened nation.”

US farmers have been caught in the crossfire of the trade conflict, especially soybeans, which prompted the administration to announce a US$16 billion aid programme to help those hurt by Chinese retaliation.

“China made a flurry of purchases at the beginning of the year... but it has been buying very little from the US lately,” Bill Nelson of Doane Advisory Services told AFP.

And he notes they have not taken delivery of crops they have ordered.

According to the latest weekly export sales report, as of May 16, there were 7 million tonnes of outstanding sales of soybeans, compared to 1.87 million last year at the same period. — AFP