President Donald Trump let fly a jaw-dropping lie in a chatty interview with CNBC Monday, saying that because of his get-tough trade war with China, the Asian nation’s economy has lost ″$15 to $20 trillion in value since the day I was elected.”
The Chinese economy is worth an estimated $13 trillion (it was $12.2 trillion in 2017, according to the World Bank). To wipe out 150% of China’s GDP would erase the country from the world economy and would be pretty ― incredible.
Contrary to Trump’s whopper, the Chinese economy has continued to expand over 6% a year since he was elected.
The Trump trade war is hurting the Chinese economy, because tariffs make Chinese products more costly and less competitive in the American market. But because U.S. companies and consumers pay the cost of tariffs on imported goods, the trade war also hurts America’s GDP (which, incidentally, is $20 trillion). Numbers vary, but estimates for GDP costs in both nations are generally less than 1%.
Before citing a specific figure for China’s losses, Trump said earlier in the CNBC interview that China has “lost many, many trillions of dollars.”
He added: “They’re way behind. They were going to catch us. Had a Democrat gotten in, namely, the one we’re talking about, China would have caught us by the end of her term. They’re nowhere close. They’ll never catch us. Not with what I’m doing.”
You can check out the entire interview in the video above. (Trump refers to the amount of money he has cost China at 26:05.)