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Trump told FOX News’ Harris Faulkner that he expects economically distressed “Opportunity Zones” will rebound along with the rest of the country.
“I think we’re going to have a great third quarter. I think we’re going to have a very good fourth quarter,” he said. “I think next year is going to be a fantastic year, other than you can never replace the lives that were lost by this horrible thing that came to us from China. But from an economic standpoint, we can have a fantastic year next year.”
Opportunity Zones were created under the Trump administration’s 2017 tax reforms. Investments made in those communities get special tax benefits in order to help boost local struggling economies. There are more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones in the U.S.
Trump pointed out that unemployment among African Americans had hit record lows before the coronavirus chilled the U.S. economy. And while the pandemic has erased those gains, he said African Americans will see great employment numbers again.
“We’re going to gain economically,” Trump said. “We’re going to be great next year. We will have a fantastic third quarter. But you can never replace the lives.”
The president continued to blame China for the virus’s spread. COVID-19 has sickened millions of people worldwide and killed more than 422,000, including 114,000 in the U.S. as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
China could have “stopped it cold,” according to Trump. He speculated that “incompetence” prevented the Chinese government from keeping the new coronavirus within its borders.
“I'm very, very angry as to what happened,” Trump said. “We got hit unnecessarily by this horrible virus that should have been stopped, that should not have been allowed to come out of China. They could have stopped it.”
The pandemic has even made Trump reconsider how he views the major U.S.-China trade deal, though he said he’s still happy that U.S. farmers are getting so much business out of the agreement.
“They're buying a lot as part of the deal, $250 billion, first time anybody's ever done with China and they're paying and living up to it,” Trump said. “But you know what? I feel differently about it now than I do when I made it. I said, ‘This is a fantastic thing.’ Now I view it differently. I think what happened with China was a very, very sad and terrible thing.”