On Senate Floor, Schumer Says John Bolton’s Book Further Confirms President Trump Is Weak On China

June 18, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding published excerpts from John Bolton’s forthcoming book, which recount President Trump making concessions to President Xi in an effort to benefit himself politically. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

My colleagues know how long I have pressed administrations of both parties to be tougher on China’s rapacious economic policies. For a time, I even praised our current president for talking about going after China’s trade abuses.

But like on so many issues, President Trump talks a big game and then completely folds. After a few months of negotiation, President Trump announced his “phase one” trade deal with China, which lifted tariffs on Chinese imports in exchange for a few short-term agricultural purchases.

It was clear at the time that President Trump sold out. I argued strenuously with the trade representative, Mr. Lighthizer, about the phase one deal. And now, as excerpts from Mr. Bolton’s book hit the press, we see why President Trump caved to China so completely.

The president’s former national security advisor wrote that President Trump decided drop all of our major demands of China because he wanted agricultural purchases from states that would aid his re-election. Mr. Bolton alleges that the president wanted the support of farmers in key states, so he sold out the national interest for his personal, political interest. Sound familiar, my Senate Republican colleagues? Sound familiar?

Ironically, of course, American farmers aren’t even getting the benefit because President Xi has reneged on purchasing American soybeans and wheat.

When President Trump was so craven to bring this up, it was a signal to Xi. You can stand strong and the president won't do anything, won't do anything. And that's what happened. So no one won. American manufacturing, American jobs were lost out in a weak-tea deal to China—weak knee deal to China. And then even the farmers who were supposed to get benefit of course from Trump's political interests didn't get any benefit.

While I would have preferred Mr. Bolton to have told these stories under oath, at the Impeachment trial, they are quite illuminating nonetheless. It seems he should have titled his book ‘the real Art of the Deal’. 

President Trump’s failure to secure an end to China’s predatory intellectual property theft is now explained.

President Trump’s ridiculous praise of how President Xi handled the coronavirus is now explained.

President Trump’s silence on human rights abuses and the protests in Hong Kong is now explained. 

Even more revolting, Mr. Bolton alleges that the president approved of President Xi’s plan to place up to a million Uighurs into concentration camps—possibly the largest internment of a religious or ethnic group since World War II.

China is America’s competitor for this generation and the next. And this President’s insecurity and weakness and vanity and obsessive self-interest is a threat—is a threat, a real threat—to our economic security and our national security. He cannot be trusted to deal with China policy any longer.