Don’t Blame Trump For His ‘Damaging’ Tariffs, Says White House Economic Adviser

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Expressing what some would argue is a a contradictory, bizarre sentiment, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that Americans should not blame President Donald Trump for his damaging tariffs, The Hill reports.

“This is a hard thing to do. People say, ‘well, President Trump’s tariffs are damaging this that and the other thing.’ I say don’t blame President Trump.”

The POTUS, Kudlow asserted, inherited a “broken” world trading system, and he is now trying to fix it by imposing tariffs.

Kudlow’s comments, The Hill notes, come only days after the Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Some economists, however, argue that the growth is unsustainable.

“Exports got a boost from farmers who were selling their agricultural products to our trading partners…but the underlying trend is closer to 2.5 percent,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Newsweek.

Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute is of the similar opinion, and asserts that economic growth is determined by labor force, and productivity, neither of which are growing fast enough. The GDP growth, the two economists pointed out, is not unusual, and not nearly as revolutionary as Trump has repeatedly suggested.

As Newsweek also noted, the POTUS credited the increase in growth to his hardliner trade policy, tariffs in particular. He boasted to reporters about the “shrinking” trade deficit, claiming that the United States is about to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years.

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Featured image credit: Carolyn KasterAP Images

Bernstein, however, asserts that Trump’s trade war has caused a spike in exports because American farmers are trying to avoid the impact of the president’s tariffs, scared of increasing prices.

Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow called the tariffs “justified,” praising, in particular, the set of tariffs Trump has imposed on China which, Kudlow claims, does not play by the rules.

“You know, if they’re targeted for good purpose, as per China, I think the answer is absolutely yes. That’s always been my view. Most free traders agree. China has not played by the rules and the trading system is broken largely because of them.”

Donald Trump’s tariffs have been facing largely bipartisan push-back ever since their inception. As the Independent reported yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to cut tariffs on hundreds of Chinese exports, from toasters to chemicals. Having passed both, the Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously, the bill will soon be sent to Donald Trump to sign into law.