CBS, NBC Downplay Trump, China Signing Phase One Trade Deal

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While House Democrats were busy sanctimoniously walking to the other side of the Capitol to deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate, President Trump was in the White House signing phase one of a trade deal with China, officially beginning the wind-down of the years-long trade war. Despite this positive economic step that would bring relief to many Americans, CBS and NBC saw fit to downplay it and criticize the President’s praise for the deal.

CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell couldn’t have sounded more disinterested in the trade deal as she reported on it for a fleeting 21 seconds:

Today, President Trump hailed a partial trade agreement with China that aims to ease tensions with the world's second-largest economy. China has agreed to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years, and will stop requiring U.S. firms to share technology as the price of doing business in China. In return, the U.S. will lower tariffs on some Chinese goods.

The report from correspondent Tom Costello over on NBC Nightly News was critical of President Trump’s praise of the deal during a press conference.

 

 

“Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers, and families,” Trump said in a soundbite, only to be followed with this remark from Costello: “But American families are unlikely to see cheaper prices soon on many Chinese-made products like TVs, shoes and clothing since most U.S. tariffs will remain in effect until the second phase of the trade deal is completed.”

Then, despite admitting that China had agreed to spend $40 billion on farm exports, Costello brought things down with the story of a struggling soybean farmer in Virginia. It was a tactic the networks had used since the start of the trade war. While Trump was trying to negotiate a better deal for American farmers (which he appeared to have succeeded at), they were making it seem like he didn’t care about their pain.

But, unlike O’Donnell, Costello did report that “Wall Street today applauded the deal, closing above 29,000 for the first time in history.”

The economy was booming and it was Trump’s big-ticket item for reelection. So, it’s no wonder the liberal broadcast networks were intent on tearing down the achievement. They even ignored the stock market ending 2019 and starting 2020 with record-breaking days.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
January 15, 2020
6:41:47 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Today, President Trump hailed a partial trade agreement with China that aims to ease tensions with the world's second-largest economy. China has agreed to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years, and will stop requiring U.S. firms to share technology as the price of doing business in China. In return, the U.S. will lower tariffs on some Chinese goods.

NBC Nightly News
January 15, 2020
7:07:13 p.m. Eastern [1 minute 34 seconds]

LESTER HOLT: And as the House was preparing to send those impeachment articles to the Senate, the President announced a major trade deal with China. Tom Costello and what it means for families.

[Cuts to video]

TOM COSTELLO: Before a room full of Wall Street and business leaders, President Trump and China’s vice primer, today inked phase one of a trade deal aimed at ending a heated trade war that's dragged on for two years.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers, and families.

COSTELLO: But American families are unlikely to see cheaper prices soon on many Chinese-made products like TVs, shoes and clothing since most U.S. tariffs will remain in effect until the second phase of the trade deal is completed.

China has agreed to buy $80 billion worth of American products and services. Including $80 billion in U.S. manufactured goods, $40 billion worth of American farm exports, and protections for U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property.

Virginia farmer John Boyd has struggled to make ends meet since the trade war cost soybean prices to collapse.

JOHN BOYD: I have a mortgage on this farm. I have not been able to make my mortgage payment right now because these prices are at an all-time low.

COSTELLO: Wall Street today applauded the deal, closing above 29,000 for the first time in history.

[Cuts back to live]

China said it expects the U.S. to treat Chinese companies fairly, an indicator both sides are looking for a win to put this trade war behind them. Lester?

HOLT: All right. Tom Costello, thank you.

NB Daily Economy Stock Market Foreign Policy Asia China Bias by Omission Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Norah O'Donnell Tom Costello Donald Trump

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