Donald Trump says will end reliance on China 'once and for all', calls for boosting domestic manufacturing

Addressing a poll rally, the US president added that the long-negotiated trade deal with China 'doesn't mean the same to him' and that he 'won't forget' that 'COVID-19 came from China'

Press Trust of India September 26, 2020 13:42:34 IST
Donald Trump says will end reliance on China 'once and for all', calls for boosting domestic manufacturing

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

Washington: US president Donald Trump has vowed to end his country's reliance on China once and for all if voted to power, expressing disappointment that the post-coronavirus relationship with Beijing does not mean the "same" to him as he would not forget the virus that came from there.

Addressing an election rally on Friday at Newport Virginia, a battleground State for the 3 November presidential election, Trump said that the US economy was doing great, then we got hit with this virus from China.

"They should never have let it happen. We won't forget it. We closed up, we saved millions of lives. Now we've opened up, opening with records," he said.

The US is the worst-affected country from the virus. Over 2,00,000 Americans have lost their lives and devastated the country's economy, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs.

Trump said that if voted to power, in the next four years, he will make America the manufacturing superpower of the world. "We will end our reliance on China once and for all," he said.

The coronavirus pandemic hit the US soon after Trump signed a trade deal with China, for which his administration had negotiated with the Chinese for more than a year.

The US and China in the beginning of the year signed Phase-1 of a trade deal, ending a bitter two-year tariff war that had rattled the global economy.

Trump in May ruled out renegotiating the trade deal with China. The US on 14 September banned the import of five goods from China, including computer-parts, cotton and hair products, alleging that they are produced in forced labour camps in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.

Trump, addressing thousands of his supporters at a local airport in the backdrop of Air Force One, said that post-coronavirus relationship with China does not mean much to him and expressed his deep disappointment with the Chinese.

"I had a very good relationship in China with President Xi (Jinping). But you know what? This pandemic has just.. we made a great trade deal, but it just doesn't mean the same to me. Does that make any sense? It doesn't mean the same to me. It doesn't mean the same to me," Trump said.

The president said that early this month, China had the largest order of corn to American farmers in US history. They had the largest order of soybeans and a massive order of beef. "But you know what it does just doesn't mean as much to me now, as it did, at one point," he said.

"The ink wasn't even dry on the trade deal. And this thing came in. They could have stopped it," he said.

Earlier in the day, in his address to the Black Empowerment event in Atlanta, Trump said before the China virus hit the country, his administration had built the greatest economy for African Americans in the history of the country. And we are doing it again, he added.

Trump, speaking at another election event in Miami, Florida, which is another battleground State, he said that same was the case with the Latinos before the arrival of the China virus.

"We have tremendous records but just before the play came in from China they should have stopped it. They should have stopped it. Just before it came in people were calling me, Democrats were calling me, they wanted to get together. It was happening because we had the best job numbers, we had the best businesses, we had the best everything. We have rebuilt our military," he said.

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