Trump blows up Beijing in public, but private Trump organization imports tons of Chinese goods

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Since September of last year, Trump’s properties in the United States have imported more than eight tons of goods from China, CNN has learned from examining US customs data compiled by ImportGenius, which tracks information that companies are legally required to. to provide US Customs when importing goods. in the USA. Imports arrived to decorate his properties while the president sought to dress China.

More than six tons of tables were delivered to the Trump International Hotel in New York City last fall. On the same day, Trump tweeted, “We are doing very well in our negotiations with China.”

A two-ton shipment of wood and glass display cases arrived at Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles from Shanghai just two months ago. Meanwhile, Trump is increasingly lashing out at China for the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump tweeted about “China’s incompetence” and accused them of “mass slaughter in the world” two days after the cabinets arrived in Los Angeles.

Trump said he left the management of his business empire to his sons when he became president, but that he had not completely relinquished control of the companies in which he still has stakes, and it is not known not what role, if any, it plays in day-to-day business.Imports into Trump’s properties are at odds with the economic nationalism of his “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The preferences of companies carrying Trump’s name also appear to be very different from those Trump has called on U.S. executive agencies to adopt.

Trump issued an executive order in April 2017 that federal agencies should “buy American,” then dubbed that post in January 2019, issuing an executive order on “U.S. purchasing preferences” for infrastructure projects, then July of the same year by signing an ordinance on “Maximize the use of goods, products and materials of American manufacture”, which announced that his administration would apply the Buy American Act of 1933 “to the greatest extent permitted by law”.

The Trump organization’s Chinese purchases also contradict messages from members of his own cabinet warning Americans to be wary of doing business with China.

The White House did not comment and the Trump organization did not respond to requests for comment.

Attorney General William Barr accused Hollywood and Silicon Valley of being “pawns” of the Chinese government in a speech on Thursday. He also warned American businessmen pushing for pro-China policies that their work could violate foreign lobbying laws.

Earlier this week, Trump announced he was signing a law, sent to his office by Congress, to sanction companies and individuals who help China restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Trump also issued a lengthy rebuke to former Vice President Joe Biden and China as he spoke with reporters in the rose garden last week, saying “Biden’s entire career has been a gift to the Communist Party. Chinese ”and had been“ devastating to the American. worker. ”

Biden and his campaign said Trump had failed to stand up to China to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. “He ignored warnings from health experts and intelligence agencies, and instead trusted the Chinese leadership,” Biden said earlier this year.

The China issue has become a major topic of the election year as Trump and Biden each attempt to paint the other as weak in the face of Beijing’s aggression. Both sides used the problem in campaign ads.

‘Fully responsible’

In the latest attempt to punish China, Trump administration officials pitched the idea of ​​banning members of the Chinese Communist Party from entering the United States, the NYT reported, citing people familiar with the proposal. .

It is unclear how far Trump would go in escalating tensions with China at this time due to the potential negative effects it could have on the U.S. economy, which has already been plagued by the coronavirus pandemic, said administration officials at CNN.

Last week, Trump said he was not interested in a second-phase trade deal with Beijing, as tensions between the two countries escalated amid the coronavirus pandemic and as China restricts it. autonomy of Hong Kong. Trump also said last week that China was “buying a lot” after the deal was struck, but provided no specific figures.

Trump also said he had not spoken to President Xi Jinping, did not intend to speak to him and said the United States held China “fully responsible for covering up the virus and for triggering it. on the world “. Less than six months ago, Trump sounded a whole different tune.

“China has worked very hard to contain the coronavirus,” Trump tweeted Jan. 24, “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and their transparency. Everything will work fine. In particular, on behalf of the American people, I want to thank President Xi! ”

The Many Times Trump has praised China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic

Prior to that, when the “phase one” trade deal was signed by Trump in January, he promised it would propel economic security.

“Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security,” Trump said from the East Room of the White House as lawmakers across Pennsylvania Avenue prepared to vote on two articles of impeachment. . “Most people thought it could never happen,” he said.

The phase one agreement did not address the major structural changes in the relationship between the United States and the Chinese economy that Trump sought. And it’s not clear whether China will meet its Phase 1 commitment to purchase an additional $ 200 billion in US goods and services this year and next.

Trump’s efforts to secure the deal – using tariffs as a tool, which resulted in higher costs for American businesses – also hurt the U.S. economy. A Moody’s Analytics report released in September said the trade war with China, which began in 2018, cost 300,000 jobs through September, based on an economic simulation.

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