AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
US President Donald Trump on Thursday once again pushed what has emerged as a central message in his yearlong trade dispute with China, falsely claiming that foreign companies pay for tariffs.
Speaking to farmers and ranchers in the Roosevelt Room, Trump touted a $16 billion bailout package for the agricultural sector that his administration unveiled hours earlier. He claimed its funding “all comes from China,” even though study after study has found that Americans bear the costs of tariffs.
“We’ll be taking in, over a period of time, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs and charges to China and our farmers will be greatly helped,” Trump said. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars our Treasury takes in.
“We’ll be taking in, depending on what period of time we’re talking, many billions of dollars. Far more than the $16 billion that we’re talking about.”
Trump also sought to walk back recent statements from within his administration that had contradicted that claim. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week acknowledged on Fox News that Americans pay import tariffs.
“In fact, Larry Kudlow was quoted but they didn’t have the second part of the quote, which was a very good quote,” he said. A spokesperson at Fox News did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.