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Donald Trump Is Wrong: Chinese Imports To US Are Taxed – OpEd


By Mitchell Blatt*

Donald Trump reiterated his own calls to add an extra 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports at the Fox Business debate on Thursday night. After initially denying comments the New York Times had clearly reported him making, he later tried to justify those very comments that he claimed to not have made.

At the debate, he made the proposal because China had been accused of devaluing its currency:

What I said to the New York Times, is that, we have great power, economic power over China and if we wanted to use that and the amount — where the 45 percent comes in, that would be the amount they saw their devaluations that we should get.

However, in his original interview with the Times, he didn’t mention currency manipulation.

Here is what the Times reported:

In addressing the trade imbalance with China, Mr. Trump addressed an issue that has been a focus of his speeches going back to 2011, when he considered running for president when President Obama was seeking re-election. In the editorial board meeting, which was held Tuesday, Mr. Trump said that the relationship with China needs to be restructured.

“The only power that we have with China,” Mr. Trump said, “is massive trade.”

“I would tax China on products coming in,” Mr. Trump said. “I would do a tariff, yes — and they do it to us.”

The article didn’t mention “manipulation” once.

As for charges of currency manipulation, the International Monetary Fund said in spring 2015 that the Chinese yuan isn’t even devalued in the first place.

Finally, as a matter of fact, Trump is also wrong that “they [China] send [us] their goods and we don’t tax it — they do whatever they want to do.” In fact, almost every country has some tariffs. It is true that China’s tariffs are higher than America’s. According to the World Trade Organization’s “International Trade and Market Access Data” map, the U.S. has an average applied MNF tariff of 3.51%, while China’s average is 9.55%.

The MFN average of traded TL for Chinese goods to the U.S. is 3.6% on non-agricultural trade and 4.3% on agricultural (China profile at WTO). For U.S. exports to China, those numbers are 9.0% for non-agricultural products and 15.4% for agricultural products.

About the author:
*Mitchell Blatt
moved to China in 2012, and since then he has traveled and written about politics and culture throughout Asia. A writer and journalist, based in China, he is the lead author of Panda Guides Hong Kong guidebook and a contributor to outlets including The Federalist,, The Daily Caller, and Vagabond Journey. Fluent in Chinese, he has lived and traveled in Asia for three years, blogging about his travels at You can follow him on Twitter at @MitchBlatt.

This article was published by Bombs and Dollars.

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One thought on “Donald Trump Is Wrong: Chinese Imports To US Are Taxed – OpEd

  • January 17, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Trump has had his products made in China and purchased from China for many years. As all Americans know this is due to the collapse of American industry. American companies could not compete with China’s currency manipulation and the Chinese government’s subsidizing many of their competing industries below cost. And, when American companies try to enter Chinese markets, they are blocked with high tariffs and graft. The U.S. will usually only belatedly tax Chinese products in response to years of highly unequal competition. China has been notorious for currency manipulations since we first opened our trade markets and China has devalued their currency many times this year, which Trump has spoken about. China has never operated as a transparent free market. I don’t trust the IMF to evaluate China’s currency devaluation, since China has set up the AIIB and was seeking inclusion into the special drawing rights basket, so the Yuan has become a reserve currency. The author of slanted article is not being truthful. The U.S. has carried a huge trade deficit with China that has grown almost every year and will be over $500 BILLION this year. Donald Trump does understand the difference between so-called free trade and fair trade.


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