US economy

Trump Defends China Trade Policy as Advisers Say Costs Will Pass to Consumers

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday defended his decision to ratchet up the trade war with China, insisting his policy was good for the United States, a day after his economic adviser said American consumers would be hit with some of the costs.

Amid trade talks between the two countries last week that collapsed without a deal, Mr. Trump announced a plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products and to tax nearly every product China exports to the United States.

There is “no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs,” Mr. Trump wrote on Monday in a series of early-morning tweets.

However, economists say the tariffs will hit consumers as stores raise prices even more and businesses that had tried to shield them find it impossible to continue doing so as their costs increase.

[How Trumps’ tariffs on Chinese goods will hit Americans’ shopping carts.]

Asian and European stocks were mostly lower on Monday. Futures markets indicated Wall Street would probably open down, too.

“There will be nobody left in China to do business with,” Mr. Trump wrote in another Twitter post, as he made clear he had no plans to back away from his assertion that his approach to trade would pay off for the United States. “Very bad for China, very good for USA.”

The president’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, on Sunday said that both the United States and China would “suffer” as a result of the tariffs, but that America would benefit in the end if this trade war forces China to give better treatment to American businesses than it had in the past.

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Some economists predict the new tariffs will not precipitate a recession in the American economy, but they will damage economic growth.


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