When Donald J. Trump announced his run for president in June, much of the focus was on his explosive comments about Mexican immigrants. But he also had another target: China, which he mentioned at least a dozen times, saying, “They’re killing us” economically and that “China comes over and they dump all their stuff” on American markets.
[Reposted from The New York Times | Gerry Mallany August 24, 2015]
On Tuesday, at an event in Michigan, Mr. Trump found a new reason to attack China: its back-to-back currency devaluations, which he says will hurt the United States economy by making Chinese exports cheaper. His remarks come as President Obama prepares to meet next month with China’s president, Xi Jinping, where the weakening renminbi is sure to be a hot topic.
The following are Mr. Trump’s remarks, as transcribed by The Washington Post:
“I think you have to do something to rein in China. They devalued their currency today. They’re making it absolutely impossible for the United States to compete, and nobody does anything. China has no respect for President Obama whatsoever, whatsoever.
“Well, you have to take strong action. How can we compete? They continuously cut their currency. They devalue their currency. And I have been saying this for years. They have been doing this for years. This isn’t just starting. This was the largest devaluation they have had in two decades. They make it impossible for our businesses, our companies to compete.
“They think we’re run by a bunch of idiots. And what’s going on with China is unbelievable, the largest devaluation in two decades. It’s honestly — great question — it’s a disgrace.”
Still, when Mr. Trump announced his presidential run he used a rhetorical device he often likes to employ: slapping his target and then professing his admiration in the next sentence.
“I like China,” he said at the time. “I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?”