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“On January 15 we’re signing a monster — a big beautiful monster,” Trump said, referring to the Phase One Trade Deal with China. The president's comments during at the Huntington Center came in his first rally of 2020 as presidential race kicks into primary season.
“As we begin the new year, our economy is booming,” he said.
Negotiators reached an agreement on the partial trade deal on Dec. 12. It calls for China to purchase $200 billion in U.S. products over two years. The U.S. will reduce tariffs on Chinese goods, though it will retain them for $380 billion in goods.
The president has previously said the full trade deal with China could come in two or three phases.
Trump said on Thursday that farmers will see between $40 billion and $50 billion as a result of the China deal. Once again, he touted other trade deals his administration has negotiated, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
“We will soon be replacing the disaster known as NAFTA with the incredible brand-new USMCA, the historic for Ohio farmers, workers and manufacturers, but really a great victory for the United States,” Trump said.
He said the trade deals were bringing auto manufacturers back to the U.S., including Ohio. Several automakers have announced plans to invest in some of the U.S. factories in the past few months.
“This is where they want to be,” Trump said. “They want to be in the United States. That’s where the action is.”
The president also touted military spending during his time in office, quoting the amount at $2.5 trillion, apparently counting the upcoming year in the figure. He said he military had been “depleted” when he took office. Trump has proposed a $738 billion defense spending bill for 2020.
“We’re using this great power not to pursue conflict but to preserve peace,” Trump said. “We have this tremendous military that’s really a great fighting force, but I hope we never have to use it.”