Donald Trump reportedly made, for the 100th time, the same statement about China tariffs, telling a crowd that China is paying for the tariffs that he imposed on them, even though the truth is more likely that American businesses and consumers are paying them.
As Yahoo Finance reports, Trump was speaking to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday night when he made the milestone claim. Specifically, he told the audience that the tariffs he imposed on Chinese goods were bringing in “billions and billions.” He then stated that China is paying for those tariffs, and reiterated, “We’re not paying.”
The problem is, the claim, that he has purportedly now made at least 100 times, may not be true. Multiple fact-checking agencies have deemed the statement false.
As FactCheck.org reported, on July 6, 2018, the first round of tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods went into effect.
Almost immediately, Trump began claiming that China was paying “billions” for those tariffs.
“Now, China is paying us, right now, billions and billions of dollars of tariffs a month. Every month, billions of dollars. I love it. Personally, I love it. But they’re paying billions of dollars. And it’s hurting them; it’s not good for them,” Trump said in February 2019, for example.
However, China may not really be paying for those tariffs. Instead, U.S. companies likely pay them, in the form of import duties. Indeed, the instructions on how to pay those duties are written in a government-issued handbook, “Guide For Commercial Importers,” that explains to importers how to cut a check for the duties they’ve paid.
The importers then potentially pass those costs on to the consumers; big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target, for example, have faced pressure to increase their prices. The National Retail Federation calls those tariffs “a tax on American families,” per the FactCheck.org report.
Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the same thing.
“Let me be very clear. Tariffs are taxes paid by American families and American businesses — not by foreigners,” he said.
In addition to the statement that China is paying for those tariffs, Trump has possibly embellished the claim even further at various times. For example, he has claimed that the tariffs haven’t “cost us anything.” However, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that the cost of the tariffs averages out to $831 per American household per year. That claim is also echoed by JPMorgan Chase, which puts the figure at $1,000 per American household per year.