Trump’s reparations strategy would have charged China trillions for 2020 devastation

FPI / November 5, 2021


Prior to the 2020 election, U.S. President Donald Trump had floated the idea of seeking as much as $10 trillion in reparations from China for the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which started in Wuhan, according to a book by former White House aide Peter Navarro.

President Donald Trump and White House adviser Peter Navarro. / AP / File

Trump had considered setting up a blue-ribbon panel of experts to study the origin of the pandemic and the possibility of seeking reparations, Navarro writes in his book “In Trump Time”, which was published on Nov. 2.

Navarro writes that he had lined up key players inside the White House to support Trump’s commission which would publish a report on the origin of the virus before the presidential election, holding China accountable for the global outbreak.

The commission’s interim report would be released two months before the November election in a bid to sway voters to Trump‘s re-election.

The draft presidential order called for investigating the origin of the coronavirus, determining whether it really developed from a natural animal host as Beijing claimed, assessing the economic and human costs, and looking at whether China‘s ruling Communist Party exploited the pandemic to advance its political, economic and military agendas, Navarro writes.

A preliminary estimate of damage to the U.S. population and economy was the value of an entire lost year of the U.S. gross domestic product, or more than $20 trillion. The federal government also spent more than $10 trillion in fiscal and monetary relief efforts to keep the economy from collapsing during the pandemic.

“By sticking China with a bill for the havoc it has wreaked on the U.S. economy and American people, we could effectively cancel our debt to China and still lay claim to trillions of dollars more in damages for the havoc inflicted by the CCP,” Navarro wrote.

China holds about $1 trillion in U.S. government debt, second only to Japan among international creditors.

In addition to producing a clear statement on the pandemic, an interim report produced by the commission would help counter major media reporting that sought to ignore China‘s role in the pandemic and blame Trump.

Navarro said Trump’s plan, which included a draft executive order, was scuttled by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who persuaded Trump to reject the commission over fears that the inquiry would cause stock markets to crash or trigger a war with China.

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