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1. Before joining Newsweek, Jason Lemon was a contributor to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he wrote primarily about health, science and the environment. Prior to that, he spent five years living in Lebanon, where he helped build a Middle East-focused viral media startup called StepFeed.|
The following are excerpts from Jason Lemon, senior reporter of Newsweek, dated May 14, 2020, under the headline "Trump Threatens to 'Cut Off the Whole Relationship' With China, Says U.S. Would Save $500 Billion".
President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday that the U.S. could "cut off the whole relationship" with China, claiming that doing so would save the country $500 billion.
"There are many things we could do," Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday morning. "We could cut off the whole relationship."....
Prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Trump had long been critical of China, even before entering the White House. The president has repeatedly raised concerns about the trade deficit between the two nations, as the U.S. historically has imported significantly more from the Asian nation than it has exported to the country.
This spurred Trump to add tariffs to hundreds of billions of Chinese goods starting in mid-2018, which led China to respond in kind. The situation escalated into a trade war that analysts have estimated cost the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs and forced American importers to shell out billions more than they would have to pay tariffs. But that situation appeared to be resolving in mid-January, with the signing of a new phase one trade agreement.
....The president largely dismissed the seriousness of the virus through February, even suggesting that it would simply "disappear." Supporters of the president argue that he acted quickly by implementing travel restrictions on foreigners who had visited China..... (End excerpts)
2. Such a threat would be very tempting for Donald Trump as he could brag to score another historical first by setting US-Sino ties back to the pre-Nixon era. Using an analogy, the domineering bully is getting tired of battering his spouse and is willing to let her go by kicking her out of the house.