Pelosi: Trump Handling Trade Deficit 'Incorrectly'

By Emilie Cochran | July 12, 2018 | 1:29 PM EDT

House Minority Leader
Nnancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

( – On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said President Donald Trump was handling the trade deficit with Communist China “incorrectly.”

Pelosi also said that the United States could have used the deficit to empower U.S. industries, but instead the Chinese have hurt American industries.

At a Capitol Hill press conference, asked Pelosi, “The U.S. is running a record trade deficit with China--$152 billion in the first five months of this year—is that a problem for the United States?”

The House Minority Leader said, “Well, I have been highlighting this issue and fighting China on the trade deficit for decades. When I started my campaign on the fight of Most Favored Nation status for China, about 20 some years ago, the trade deficit with the United States with China, the trade deficit was $5 billion a year.”

“I thought that was such a huge amount of money that would certainly enable us to use our leverage to free the prisoners arrested at Tiananmen Square,” Pelosi said, “to stop the Chinese from proliferating missile technology in a dangerous way and, related to trade, to open their markets to our products, to address the intellectual property theft that they were engaged in.”

Pelosi continued, “People here, and the Democrats and Republicans alike, I’ve put it at everybody’s doorsteps, fought me saying, ‘Oh, no, it’s peaceful evolution, it’s going to work itself out, let it go.’ That was, say, 28 years ago or something like that, the trade deficit was $5 billion a year. Now it is more than $5 billion a week. And yes, we have to address that, because that’s unfair to American workers.”

“I think the president has handled it incorrectly,” she said. “He should have used our leverage to get advances for all of America’s industries instead of empowering the Chinese in this case to hurt our industries, agriculture, whatever it happens to be.”

“So when the president says, ‘I’m going to put x amount of tariffs on x amount of products,’ and then Chinese reciprocate with the same number. Say we’re going to punish $100 billion of their products coming into the U.S., the Chinese say, ‘We’re going to punish $100 billion of your products coming from the U.S.’ -- it’s 20% of their products coming to the U.S., it’s 80% of our products going to China.”

“It just is,” she said. “It’s just wrong we’ve empowered to hurt our industry instead of fighting for all of our industries.”

“The Chinese have demanded more of the Chinese market,” said Pelosi. “People went there, the Chinese said, ‘You can manufacture here, but we want your designs.’ Once they had the designs, they said, ‘We don’t need you anymore. We certainly don’t need you for the Chinese market.’ This is something that should have been done right, instead of recklessly, it’s unfortunate.”

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Emilie Cochran
Emilie Cochran
Emilie Cochran