Both before and after he was elected president, Donald Trump insisted that the wall he wants to build on the southern border would be paid for by Mexico. That was always a fiction. And now Trump claims that China is paying billions of dollars to the United States as a result of the steep hike in tariffs on Chinese imports that his administration has imposed. This is yet another bit of Trumpian hyperbole that has no connection to reality.

In truth, it is American consumers who are paying the higher prices for Chinese-made products. And it is American exporters who are getting slammed by China’s reciprocal tariffs. Among those getting hit hardest are American farmers who ship their crops to Chinese markets. To give them a little relief, Trump has announced farmers and ranchers will be getting $16 billion in emergency financial aid. Is China paying for that? Of course not; American taxpayers are picking up the bill, just like they will pay for a wall should it ever get built.

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