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'We built China': Trump claims country 'took advantage' of US in false claims about tariffs

President rails against China joining World Trade Organisation: 'a very bad day for the United States'

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 10 April 2020 16:53 BST
Donald Trump speaks at a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic
Donald Trump speaks at a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic (AFP via Getty Images)

After falsely claiming the US had a $500 billion a year trade deficit with China "for years," Donald Trump said the country has "taken advantage" of the US.

He claims that the US "built China with the money we gave them."

In a rambling screed against China and the World Trade Organisation during a press conference about the coronavirus crisis, the president continued his claims that China is paying the tariffs on billions of dollars in goods to the US. But those tariffs are passed to consumers and manufacturers, footing most of the bill for the trade war.

He said: "If a smart person is standing where I'm standing, we're going to do very well with China."

Asked whether China is taking advantage of the US during the pandemic, the president blamed the WTO, saying it was a "very bad day for the United States" when China joined in 2001.

The president has previously claimed that "billions of dollars" are coming into the US Treasury following his administration's retaliatory tariffs. The US has raised tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent/

He said: "They are considered a developing nation. We are not considered a developing nation. ... For many years, China has ripped off the United States, and then I came along, and right now, as you know, China's paying 25 per cent, and we've taken in billions of dollars."

His latest claims and attacks follow a campaign attack ad for his re-election campaign, hitting out Democratic rival Joe Biden as soft on China by using an image of the former governor of Washington state, who the Trump campaign mistakenly identified as a Chinese official.

Earlier this month, the president claimed that the US was the first country to ban travel from China following the coronavirus outbreak, which nearly 40 other countries did before the administration unveiled its restrictions.

The president and his Republicans allies have also called the coronavirus a "Chinese" or "Wuhan" virus despite the US overtaking China and dozens other countries in Covid-19 cases. Nearly 500,00 cases in the US have been confirmed, including more than 18,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University as of 10 April.

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