President Donald Trump made many promises during his campaign. However, a few months into his presidency it appears as if the POTUS is backtracking on some of the key ones. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump made a major change of heart on two crucial promises he had made. He said clearly that he was not going to name China a currency manipulator – something the President was quoted as saying he would actually do once he took over the oval office. Trump said that the sudden change of heart was inspired by the meeting he had last weekend with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Currency manipulation has been a signature strategy used by China to have an edge in global trade.
Trump had earlier expressed vehement opposition to this as he campaigned for the White House. The President added that labeling China a currency manipulator would reverse the gains he had made with China on the subject of North Korea after the meeting. Simply put, Trump told the Wall Street Journal “They are not currency manipulators,” Nothing more and nothing less. In addition to this, Trump also suggested that he was open to a trade deal with China that may not necessarily lessen the current trade deficit between the US and China in order to ensure Chinese support on the North Korean problem.
This soft stance is a complete opposite of the fiery condemnation Trump had on the US-China trade deficit during his campaign and a few days after he was elected into office. At one time during a campaign rally in Indiana, Trump told supporters that the US can’t allow China to continue (in his own word) raping the country because according to Trump, that is exactly what the Chinese were doing to the US economy. A month later after the rally, Trump referred to the Chinese leaders as “Grand chess masters” when it comes to currency manipulation.
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, in response to this reversal said that the fact that Trump had failed to label China a currency manipulator meant that he had already given Beijing the green light to continue stealing America’s wealth and American jobs. Schumer added that the only viable way of getting China to cooperate on the North Korean issue was to slap them with tougher trade restrictions. Trump seems to have also retracted his passionate opposition to the Export-Import Bank saying it was actually a very good thing. The President told the Wall Street Journal that lots of companies have been helped by the bank. He added that when you think about it, perhaps “it’s not such a ridiculous thing.”
And that is not all. Trump who once called NATO obsolete told reporters in a joint press conference with NATO secretary Gen. Jens Stoltenberg that despite everything, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was and still remains a viable option for the United States. The change of heart on these crucial campaign promises will definitely raise eyebrows and it remains to be seen what reaction it will elicit from both Trump supporters and critics alike.