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Tubman $20 Bill Won't Happen During Trump Administration; Trump Announces $16 Billion in Aid to Farmers Amid Trade War. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired May 23, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] TIFFANY CROSS, CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING EDITOR, THE BEAT DC: And I think all Americans benefit from that when you see 23 candidates in a crowded field put forth these kind of policy proposals.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Yes. Tiffany Cross, great to see you, thank you.
CROSS: You too, Brooke. Thanks.
BALDWIN: Just a reminder to all of you, any moment now, President Trump is expected to announce the $16 billion in aid to farmers in this country who have been just devastated by this trade war with China. We will take you there live and listen into the President and fact check his claims about who is really paying for the rising tariffs.
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic. I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we could maybe come up with another denomination. Maybe we do the $2 bill or we do another bill. I don't like seeing it. Yes, I think it is pure political correctness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That was then-candidate Donald Trump back in April 2016 after the Treasury announced abolitionist Harriet Tubman would be the new face of the $20 billion but this week, we learned the redesigned currency will not debut next year as originally planned. Here is what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: The primary reason we've looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues. Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support Harriet Tubman being on the $20 bill?
MNUCHIN: I've made no decision as it relates to that and that decision won't be made as I said--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there was a community process. There was a national -- a community process.
MNUCHIN: Again, it is a decision of the Secretary of The Treasury, right now my decision is focused on security features.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: When the redesign was announced officials wanted the new bill to come out in 2020. It is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote and my next guest has a very personal connection to this story and she's the great, great, great, great niece of Harriet Tubman. And she is Ernestine Martin Wyatt. Thank you so much for being here.
ERNESTINE MARTIN WYATT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT NIECE OF HARRIET TUBMAN: Thank you, Brooke, for having me.
BALDWIN: Tina, do you think Secretary Mnuchin's explanation for the delay, waiting until 2028 now, do you think that is legit?
WYATT: No. I think to me it is -- it smacks of racist rhetoric. That is what it smacks of.
BALDWIN: Tell me why.
WYATT: I think it is a nice way of trying to say we don't want this. We're not going to have this. Under any circumstances will we have this. It is just another delay and a diversion for what is going on because he's had time for this to happen in the very beginning. He said that was not his priority. So now it comes out when all the other things that are happening right now and I'm wondering, well, why is that happening right now at this time? So I just think it is a diversion and also again it is smacks of racism.
BALDWIN: Let me get this in. This is from the spokesperson for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing telling "The Daily Beast" that this is a long process, they say the redesigns have not been finalized and for example the next note to be set to be released is the $10 bill which won't even enter circulation for another seven years. So that is what they're saying.
WYATT: Well, in the beginning, the Treasury, Liu, expedited things. And to my knowledge pretty much it was -- it was set. The design was set. Now as an artist, I know that you have rough drafts and things like that. But what they said was that in 2020 it would have the final, I guess, redesign. And that was supposed to debut in 2020. Now after not hearing of anything for many -- for many years, now we're hearing that, oh, no, it is going to be delayed. It's going to take too long. We have to take care of security for counterfeit and things like that.
BALDWIN: You aren't buying that, I hear you. You're not buying it. I hear you. I hear you.
BALDWIN: Now when this announcement was first made back in 2016, I remember much was being said about how having Harriet Tubman on American currency would in a way ensure every American knew her story, but beyond the underground railroad and her invaluable contribution to ending slavery. What do you wish more people knew about her?
WYATT: I wish more people now about her civil war effort. Because she was a patriot. A patriot when she didn't have to be. When America's foot was up on her neck, she had a bounty on her head but yet she came at the -- at the behest of Governor Andrew -- from -- I'm sorry Governor Andrew -- I think it was Johnson from Massachusetts.
[15:40:00] And because of her skills because of her ability to be able to be unrecognized, to be able to move in and out through different areas without recognition, being able to change how she looked, being able to know about the waterways that were similar to the ones that she was raised in in South Carolina, knew that she would be valuable to winning the war, to preserving the Union and that is why -- I mean she did many things. She was a spy.
She was not just a nurse and a cook or a launderess or a scout but she was a spy. That was why she was sent there to be a spy and then he told her if when you are not doing that, do what else is necessary. But she did a lot in terms of -- she knew medicines and she helped heal a doctor that was there and also the soldiers. He gave her carte blanche to do whatever she told them to do in order to heal the soldiers that were dying of malaria.
This lady was -- she was gifted. She was gifted, she was knowledgeable. She couldn't read or write but she was smart and intelligent, she was articulate and most of all, she was blessed by god to do what she was doing.
BALDWIN: History is grateful for her and hopefully in the future we will see her on that bill as promised. Tina Wyatt, I appreciate you. Thank you very much for coming on.
WYATT: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you. And as we've been talking, I have seen now here he is the President of the United States, these are live pictures over at the White House as we are waiting for his remarks to farmers. He is expected to announce this big chunk of change to farmers who have been in need. Here we go.
TRUMP: Some of the most incredible people in the country, people with me from the beginning and I've been with them from the absolute beginning and the relationship has been very good. So we're here with a vital action support for the American farmers. People that we love, people that have been going for a long time and they've done really well and have ups and downs and it is a wild business, but you wouldn't trade it for anything. I know that. I know that 100 percent. We're grateful to joined by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
Thank you very much. Sonny. Great job. Thanks also to representatives G.T. Thompson. Thank you, thank you very much. Lloyd Smucker and Mike Conaway, thank you, fellas. Appreciate it very much. Been very helpful. Along with Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn. Thank you, Chris. Great job. Also with us today, are several of the nation's greatest farmers. Including American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval.
Zippy has been so good to me. Thank you, Zippy. I appreciate it very much. Along with members of the farm groups representing producers of corn, soybeans, wheat and pork. For years our politicians have allowed other countries to steal our jobs, punish our workers and target American industry and American agriculture. I can't say this is just the Democrats but in particular the Democrats have done absolutely nothing about this. From the year 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization which was by the way a disaster.
Until the year 2016 the United States lost more than 60,000 factories and millions and millions of jobs. China imposed massive barriers to American farm products, you people know that very well, right, very well. And engaged in theft of trade secrets from American agribusiness. We racked up nearly $4 trillion in trade deficits in goods with China during those years. And the numbers are absolutely astounding what has been happening over the last ten years in particular but you go back 30 years and you wouldn't even believe it.
This is a massive transfer of wealth from the United States to China. Financing China's infrastructure, commerce, technology and military and you've heard me say it many, many times before, we helped rebuild China. You've also heard me say I don't blame the Chinese, I blame the people that were standing right here before me and they're representatives to allow that to happen, to allow China to get along and be able to do that.
[15:45:00] And they did it like nobody else has ever done it before. And you know the United States has been taken advantage of for many years by many countries but nobody has done it like China. To end these chronic trading abuses my administration took necessary and very lawful action to protect America's economy, security and farms. We're taking swift action to remedy all of the injustice that has been done over the years, in particular you could say with, in particular you could say with our farmers, they're patriots.
They stood up and they were with me. They didn't say oh, you shouldn't do this because we're going to have a bad year. Because they've had 20 bad years if you really look. You take a look at those charts. Way back. Longer than that. It has just been a steady spiral down. So we will ensure that our farmers get the relief they need and very, very quickly. It is good time to be a farmer. We're going to make sure of that.
So today I'm announcing that I have directed Secretary Perdue to provide $16 billion in assistance to America's farmers and ranchers, it all comes from China. We'll be taking in over a period of time hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs and charges to China, and our farmers will be greatly helped. We want to get them back to the point where they would have had a good year. This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars our Treasury takes in. We'll be taking in, depending on what period of time we're talking, many billions of dollars. Far more than the $16 billion that we're talking about. But the $16
billion of funds will help keep our cherished farms thriving and make clear that no country has veto on America's economic and national security. Can't let that happen ever.
And if you remember, not so long ago, during the time of our negotiation and China broke the deal with us and that is OK. That is fine. But during that time of negotiation, if everyone remembers, we had periods where China would target our farms, right.
They would actually target. They took an ad in a newspaper from Iowa, a big ad, saying lots of bad things about the administration, about the fact that we're negotiating too tough, we're not going to make a deal. But they steal intellectual property by the billions. Somebody estimated it at $300 billion. Nobody knows how you estimate it but somebody does and they say $300 billion a year in theft, intellectual property theft so we can't let that happen.
Our economy is booming, our nation is prospering. And now is the time to insist on fair and reciprocal trade for our workers and for our farmers. I remain hopeful that at some point we'll probably get together with China, if it happens great, if it doesn't happen that is fine. That is absolutely fine. And I look forward, I will be seeing President Xi at the G20 very shortly and many of you have there -- many media present and you'll be at the meeting. And we look forward to that.
But in the meantime and maybe nor a long time, I appreciate the incredible bipartisan support that my administration has had on trade and trade policy. Especially as it pertains to placing very massive tariffs on China and just so you understand, these tariffs are paid for largely by China. A lot of people like to say by us. In fact, Larry Kudlow was quoted but they didn't have the second part of the quote which was a very good quote. China subsidizes a lot of businesses. And China came out and in subsidizing the business they pay for a big portion of that tax.
But right now a lot of companies are moving out of China because of the tax. They are moving to non-tariff countries. So it is a bad thing for China. We don't want that. But that is the way it works out. But we're taking in tremendous amounts of tariffs and you don't have to pay, by the way, tariffs for companies when they move into the United States. You move to the United States. It is very simple business. There are to tariffs to pay.
And many companies are already planned and planning to move back to the United States or to move to the United States for the first time. So they don't have to pay the 25 percent tariff. But they're moving to Vietnam, they're moving to other places. But we'll get plenty of them. Our country must maintain a united front to achieve maximum results for our people. Very simple.
[15:50:00] For years farm income has declined. And we're talking about many years. This year, however, and I was a little surprised to see this because I know that there has been really a trade attack on our great farmers, net farm income because our economy is doing so well, is forecast to be nearly $8 billion higher than in 2016. Did you know that? You're doing better than you were doing in 2016.
Nobody told me that. But that is because our economy has been so strong and our economy is about as good as it has ever been. Maybe better than it's ever been and the agricultural exports are expected to be $10 billion more than in 2016. That's not bad. You've done a good job. We both have. We all have. The farmers have.
So we're fixing broken trade deals to open up markets for American exports. Including with the brand-new U.S./Mexico/Canada Agreement, an agreement that Democrats in Congress many are supporting I must say. Or they have told us they are supporting it regardless of leadership. I don't think Nancy Pelosi understands, the deal is too complicated, but it is not a complicated deal. It is actually not a complicated deal.
It is a deal that is going to be many, many times better than NAFTA. I consider NAFTA one of the worst deals ever made in the history of our country. I think the World Trade Organization, Larry Kudlow, may be even worse because of what it has done with respect to trade and international trade and trade with China. What it has done for China and how much money our country has been losing to China every year. So World Trade Organization has been really bad, but the NAFTA has been one of the worst deals ever made in trade.
Just last week we reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to lift major tariffs on American agriculture and we opened up the beef exports with Japan. Did you know that? Right. That is a big deal. So we opened it up with Japan. First time ever. So beef is now going to be starting to flow to Japan and our folks that do beef, they are very much happier. They were shocked to see that one. But it is happening. It is happening fast. And I think things probably are going to happen with China fast.
Because I can't imagine that they can be thrilled with thousands of companies leaving their shores for other places. We're saving our farmers and ranchers from ridiculous regulations also and we're -- as of next week we're signing some additional voiding of some really dumb regulations, Sonny, that will make farming a lot easier and a lot better, and one of the regulations, waters of the United States rule. It sounds beautiful and once you open the document and it is a total catastrophe.
And you know that better than anybody. I got rid of it. I terminated it. It's got a beautiful title, everything inside is a disaster for our farmers and actually for our country. We're ensuring that ethanol remains a vital part of America's energy future and we increased it to e-15 and that is tremendous for in particular -- for the most part our corn farmers.
For corn and the people in Iowa and lots of other places are very happy. I just did it recently and I made a promise during the campaign that I was going to do it, and I don't know if it had an impact but I won Iowa by a lot. And perhaps it did, perhaps it didn't. I don't really care. It is the right thing to do. So you're going to be at e-15 which is something I think you've been waiting for, for a long time. And we're going to also make that available year-round. They had it for a period of eight months and we're going to make it year-round. That was a ridiculous rule.
We're fighting for rural broadband, improving rural health care and bringing new prosperity to distressed rural communities through opportunity zones. Opportunity zones and Tim Scott and I and others have worked so hard on opportunity zones and they're really working. Far greater than anybody thought, including me. People are coming in they are investing large amounts of money in places they would have never invested before. Inner city locations and others and it has been incredible.
It is one of the reasons our African-American unemployment is the lowest ever, Hispanic, Asian, the lowest ever. We have the lowest unemployment rates ever and we have today, literally today, I just saw another report, it has been this way for a while, the most people working in the history of our country working today. So that is really great. Mike, you look at that and that's pretty good news, right? So our nation will always be proud of the unmatched grit and faith and skill of the American farmer.
It's my honor to do what we did. I want to thank Sonny Perdue and all of the people that work so hard.
BALDWIN: All right, President Trump flanked by his Agriculture Secretary and some of those farmers there. Announcing the $16 billion in aid to farmers who are in need in this country. Let me just before I bring in my two guests, just fact checking things here. President Trump he continues to say that China will pay the cost of these tariffs. And the benefits from these tariffs are partially the reason economy is so strong.
The fact is that U.S. consumers bear the costs of these tariffs not China. And studies have found that tariffs have harmed the U.S. economy not helped. I have Christopher Gibbs waiting in the wings, he is a soybean farmer in Ohio who used to be an official for the USDA, so Chris, thank you, sir, for being here. And CNN political commentator Catherine Rampell is a columnist for "The Washington Post." And Catherine just starting with you, I just want to hammer home this notion of the 16 billion that the President is saying because of China, he is not gifting to these farmers. What is the truth?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The truth is that in fact as you pointed out Americans are paying for the cost of these tariffs including farmers through lost business of course, to China but as well as to lots of other countries and economies including the European Union. Who we are also engaging in a trade war with. And basically Trump is said rather than having our farmers sell soybeans to China let's borrow from China to pay farmers to not sell soybeans to China. That is effectively what is happening here.
Because we are transferring from the U.S. Treasury which in the long run will be U.S. taxpayers but in the near-term will be through borrowing to these farmers to essentially pay them not to sell their crops.
BALDWIN: Let's go to Ohio, Chris to you, you know, when you hear the President say $16 billion, it is heading your way. Or it is actually technically 14.5 billion, directly to you, you say what?
CHRISTOPHER GIBBS, SOYBEAN FARMER (via Skype): Well, I really appreciate the taxpayers funding that in as your other guests said correctly those dollars don't come from China, they come from U.S. manufacturers, U.S. importers. Maybe some of those importers have Chinese interests, OK, I will grant that. But by and large, those dollars come right from importers, when folks import steel, when the import goods from China, the importer which is a U.S. company hires U.S. workers. U.S. employees, pays U.S. taxes.
They pay those tariff taxes right into the Treasury. And then turn around particularly if we end up putting more tariffs on China on the balance of their goods, take that impassive right onto the consumer. And I have a personal story like that. That puts it in part to prospective. A month and 1/2 ago my son and I, he wanted to buy a livestock trailer, an aluminum livestock trailer. And I went with them because I spotted him the down payment, that's what farm dads do. And I went with him to the showroom.
And I didn't want to hover, while he was making a deal with the salesman, I was watching the TV which was muted, and across the chyron on a cable show, it said billions of dollars pouring into the U.S. Treasury from China. I said wait a minute, that's just not true. So any teachable moment by I went over to the salesman and my son is sitting there literally signing his name to a $17,000 contract.
And I said how much did the aluminum tariffs that were put on by the administration just cost my son? And he said without question, he said 10 percent. I said so you are telling me this trailer would've cost me $15,500 a year ago, would have cost my son that. He said, Yes. Will I have to tell you, I was there when my son was born, and he's not Chinese. It cost him. That was the cost. And that is a real story for me.
BALDWIN: No, I appreciate the story and the anecdote. And I was just wondering from there to when you hear that this money is apparently headed your way, how much do you think you'll actually see? And how helpful will it be? What will you be able to buy?
GIBBS: Well, this year the way the economy has been in the agricultural economy because of the tariffs, because of the 30 percent reduction in the price of soybeans, and just no end in sight, there is no capital purchases. At least on my farm, there's no capital purchases. And we got back up just a little bit to make sure that money might be flowing to the Eastern corn belt. And a weather point, we haven't turned a wheel out here.
And with the way that I read the regs, and it is written correctly, the way I read the regs or the USDA announcement came out a couple of hours ago, that you would need to up plant one of the affected crops to be eligible for a payment. We may not get our crops planted out here. So there will not be anything forthcoming. And that's fine. Most of us, many of us have prevented planting insurance and maybe we can draw on that. But that money may not be coming to the Eastern corn belt if we don't get crops planted. BALDWIN: Mr. Gibbs, thank you so much. We're going to end with you. Chris Gibbs there a soybean farmer in Ohio and appreciate you and Catherine Rampell, thank you so much. I'm Brooke Baldwin and you're watching CNN. "THE LEAD" starts right now.