Trump says China tariffs not boosting prices as inflation rises

Brendan Murray
Bloomberg

President Donald Trump decried what he called China’s “massive” intervention to suppress the yuan, portraying the U.S. as the beneficiary of his tariffs on Chinese imports and suggesting – despite recent evidence to the contrary – that prices aren’t rising.

“Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China,” Trump said on Twitter Tuesday. “Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!”

In this  June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan. Trump decried on Twitter, Tuesday, what he called China’s “massive” intervention to suppress the yuan, portraying the U.S. as the beneficiary of his tariffs on Chinese imports and suggesting – despite recent evidence to the contrary – that prices aren’t rising.

Data released Tuesday from the Labor Department, shortly before Trump’s tweet, signaled that inflation may be firming. A key measure of U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly accelerated in July in a broad-based advance.

Last week the Trump administration branded China a currency manipulator. The announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department came hours after China allowed the yuan to weaken to more than 7 per dollar, a line it hadn’t crossed in over a decade.

Separate figures from the Treasury Department Monday showed that while income from tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on China are still a modest source of revenue for the U.S., the levies helped almost double customs duties to $57 billion in the fiscal year so far.

With assistance from Scott Lanman.