Fact-Checking Trump’s Claims About the Chinese Economy

But there is no indication that Chinese companies have halted or reversed their plans to upgrade their capabilities, or that officials are any less interested in catching up in areas like microchips.

“Chinese companies are trying to reach the technological frontier, and they’re continuing to pursue these plans even if the government has stopped being vocal about Made in China 2025,” said Dan Wang, a tech analyst for the research firm Gavekal Dragonomics. “Firms and the government have already invested billions into plants producing semiconductors, robotics, aviation equipment and other high-technology goods.”

Also, even if the plan’s goals are eventually met, it is debatable whether that would mean China will have taken over, economically, the world. The plan includes semiofficial targets for how much Chinese manufacturers sell by 2025 … in China.

What Trump said

But I have to say this: Billions of dollars will soon be pouring into our Treasury from taxes that China is paying for us.

When the United States places tariffs on Chinese imports, China doesn’t pay them. American importers do. And they might pass along the extra costs to American consumers. (Tariffs can still hurt Chinese companies, of course, if the higher cost means Americans stop buying their products.)

Mr. Trump may be correct that Washington will soon be raking in more money thanks to the tariffs. China’s exports to the United States have risen recently despite the new levies. But that may just be because American buyers and Chinese sellers want to move as much product as they can before the spiraling trade war leads to even higher tariffs.

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