Trump: I am 'the chosen one' to lead trade war against China

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE on Wednesday rejected concerns that his trade war with China could slow the global economy into a recession, telling reporters he believes he is “the chosen one” to fight against decades of trade cheating from Beijing.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president sought to distance himself from the mounting economic damage of his battle with China, arguing that he is simply cleaning up messes left for him by his predecessors. 

“Somebody said this is Trump’s trade war. It’s not my trade war. This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents,” Trump said, criticizing former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.

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“Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one,” Trump continued, glancing over his shoulder to gaze at the sky. “Somebody had to do it, so I took on China. I took on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning.”

 

 

Trump comments are his latest effort to downplay the looming threat a recession and the rising damage of his trade battles with China and the European Union. 

Recent turmoil in the U.S. bond market, retractions in the U.K and Germany, stalling growth in China and a sharp decline in American business investment have raised fears that a record stretch of economic expansion could soon grind to a halt.

Economists across the ideological spectrum have increased the odds of a U.S. recession by end of 2020, due in part to the high costs and destabilizing uncertainty driven by Trump’s trade battles.

A recession of any magnitude could cause severe pain for U.S. households, likely leading to job losses, stagnant wages and limited opportunities for career advancement. But a retraction would also pose a major political threat to Trump, who is depending on a strong economy to woo swing voters in crucial purple states as he seeks reelection.

Trump and his top aides have dismissed fears of a recession by attacking the news media, blaming the Federal Reserve for slowing the economy, and accusing elected Democrats of rooting for a slowdown without evidence to back up that claim.

“The fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession,” Trump said Wednesday.

“The United States is doing phenomenally well, but one thing I have to do is economically take on China, because China has been ripping us off for many years,” he added.