Gary Cohn: Tariffs Have Failed, Trump Should Ease Up on China for a Win

Breitbart | 3/14/2019 | Staff
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Former White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn said President Donald Trump is losing the trade war and urged him to cut an easier deal with China to score “a big win.”

Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who served as President Donald Trump’s first director of the National Economic Council, also attacked Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in an interview with Steven Dubner for the “Freakonomics” radio show broadcast Wednesday.

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Cohn argued that while he supports President Trump’s stance against China’s theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, and closed market, the administration’s strategy of using tariffs was not effective.

“Tariffs were used as a threat. Did it hurt the Chinese at all? We had record trade deficits,” Cohn said.

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Most China watchers would disagree. Trump’s tariffs have given the administration credibility in the trade dispute, demonstrating that it is willing to take steps that no prior administration has. Those tariffs have weakened the Chinese economy and forced China to seriously negotiate over U.S. demands for reform.

“China’s economic expansion languished to its slowest pace in nearly three decades last year, as a bruising trade fight with the U.S. exacerbated weakness in the world’s second-largest economy,” the Wall Street Journal reported in January.

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Last month, China’s industrial production fell to the lowest level in 17 years, according to data released Thursday.

Cohn also claimed, without evidence, that tariffs were raising prices on consumer goods.

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“Tariffs don’t work. If anything, they hurt the economy because if you’re a typical American worker, you have a finite amount of income to spend,” Cohn said. “If you have to spend more on the necessity products that you need to live, you have less to spend on the services that you want to buy.”

Consumer prices are up just 1.5 percent over the last...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Breitbart
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