Politics

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy Doubts Trump’s Optimistic Claims on China Trade Talks

Democratic lawmaker just isn’t buying president’s contention of a big win

President Donald Trump greets the press as the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, shows the way to a meeting during a G-20 summit last week. (Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images file photo)

Hours after threatening “major tariffs” on Chinese goods unless a new trade deal is reached, President Trump on Wednesday claimed his administration is hearing “very strong signals being sent by China.”

But one Democratic senator, Connecticut’s Christopher S. Murphy, isn’t buying it.

On Tuesday night, the president threatened “major Tariffs” on Chinese products shipped to the United States if his administration fails to strike a final trade pact with Beijing. He and Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a Saturday night dinner in Argentina following a G-20 summit, agreed to a trade truce and a 90-day effort to come to terms. But Trump spent much of Tuesday threatening to increase existing tariffs and impose new ones if the two sides can’t make a deal.

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In one Tuesday tweet, Trump dubbed himself a “Tariff Man,” a warning to Xi and his government.

U.S. stocks took a dive Tuesday as trade talks between the world’s largest economies appeared to again hit a stalemate. American markets are closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning for the late former President George H.W. Bush, but global markets continued to slide.

Perhaps mindful and worried about the effects of a market lull on the U.S. economy — which will impact his expected re-election bid — Trump sounded more optimistic on Wednesday morning.

He tweeted that his team is hearing “Very strong signals” being sent by China.

[Trump Threatens ‘Major Tariffs’ Against China if Trade Pact Falters]

“Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!” the U.S. leader wrote a few hours before he will be face-to-face with all other living presidents for the first time since he was sworn into office in January 2017.

But Murphy, like other Democratic members, believes Xi is playing Trump.

Murphy fired off his own tweet, asking: “So the ‘win’ is that the Chinese start buying the stuff they stopped buying, after our consumers got gouged for a year, and there’s still no new agreement w China? Am I getting that right?”

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