United States: hits and myths

A collection of clichés and the most common and hackneyed misunderstandings

Mourners file past the flag-draped casket of assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian following a public memorial at White Chapel cemetery in Troy, Michigan June 10, 2011. Kevorkian, known as "Dr. Death" for helping more than 100 people end their lives. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Mourners file past the flag-draped casket of assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian following a public memorial at White Chapel cemetery in Troy, Michigan June 10, 2011. Kevorkian, known as "Dr. Death" for helping more than 100 people end their lives. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

American tariffs don't affect imports

TRUE

According to a report by UNCTAD, the United Nations organism that oversees international trade, the 250 billion dollars in goods that no longer arrive from China due to the tariffs imposed by the White House are not being replaced by products made in the US. The report claims that United States' companies only account for 6% of those exports, while the Chinese companies have kept 12% despite the customs barriers. Those who benefit the most are Europe (European companies account for approximately 50 billion dollars of exports to the US), followed by Mexico, Canada and Vietnam.

The Wall will be paid for by the trade agreement with Mexico

FALSE

President Donald Trump, when referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, stated in one of his tweets that "Mexico is paying (indirectly) for the Wall through the new USMCA." In actual fact the new agreement, signed by the leaders of the three countries on 30 November last year as a replacement for NAFTA, still awaits to be ratified by the various governments. Plus it is unclear how the resulting federal revenue could potentially pay for the cost of the wall, and in any case it would be hard to view this revenue as a Mexican payment.

Medically assisted suicide is legal in most American states

FALSE

Medically assisted suicide in the United States is legal in the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, Colorado and California. Since January 1 the Hawaiian Islands have also been added to the list. The new Hawaiian law, known as Our Care, Our Choice Act, will allow its citizens to put in a request for medical prescriptions with which they may terminate their life. Patients eligible for such a procedure must be overage and have a life expectancy of under six months. The law also allows patients to back out at any time, even after they have received the prescription for the drug.

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This article is also published in the March/April issue of eastwest.

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