Tariffs

Trump falsely claims tariffs force China to pay for goods sold to U.S.

Trump
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President Trump, who has deemed himself "a Tariff Man" and made tariffs a centerpiece of his presidential agenda, incorrectly explained how they work during an interview with Fox News' Harris Faulkner.

"We have placed tremendous tariffs on China. When China sends things into America now, they're paying 25% interest on everything they send in."

Reality check: Tariffs are a tax paid by importers — not by exporters. For example, if a Chinese manufacturer charged $10 for a particular product, the American consumer or business purchasing it would have to pay $10 to the seller and an additional $2.50 to the U.S. government (assuming the tariff was 25%). This is not the first time that Trump has incorrectly suggested that revenue from tariffs comes from foreign countries.

U.S. trade deficit hits the highest level in a decade

Shipping containers
Photo: Qilai Shen/In Pictures via Getty Images

The U.S. trade deficit reached $55.5 billion in October — the highest level in a decade — as imports rose 0.2% to $266.5 billion and exports fell 0.1% to $211 billion, the AP reports.

Why it matters: President Trump has made the trade deficit a signature grievance of both his campaign and presidency, slapping tariffs on aluminum, steel and $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. But the latest figures from the Commerce Department show the deficit with China has actually risen 7.1% to a record $43.1 billion, with U.S. soybean exports to China dropping 46.8% as a result of retaliatory tariffs.

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