STATEMENT: Weak Trade Deal With China Part of Failed Trump Strategy That’s ‘All Pain and No Gain,’ CAP’s Neera Tanden Says

Washington, D.C. — After President Donald Trump signed an initial trade deal with China, Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Today, President Trump signed a weak deal with China that makes clear that his administration’s failed trade strategy has been all pain and no gain. President Trump rightly identified U.S.-China trade as seriously out of whack, harming U.S. workers, businesses, and national competitiveness. Yet the president’s weak deal aims to partially reverse some of the self-imposed damage from the Trump tariffs without actually addressing any of our real trade problems with China. The cost of these problems will continue to be borne by American consumers, workers, and farmers.

Much like the 2017 Trump tax cut, this deal is designed to deliver for Wall Street and big companies while doing nothing for working families. And it fails to take on key items such as industrial policies and subsidies, let alone labor standards or environmental enforcement—all of which are serious challenges for U.S. workers and national competitiveness.

This agreement is also riddled with loopholes. President Trump claims he is keeping some of the tariffs in place to maintain leverage over China, but it is Americans—not the Chinese—who pay the costs of those tariffs. When President Trump stood next to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to announce the so-called phase one deal, the two leaders could not even agree on the level of agricultural purchases that China is committing to make. That does not bode well for the families whose livelihoods depend on the president to get this right.

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