‘In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.’
That’s White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday offering a “both sides” take in an interview on Fox News.
He was acknowledging that China, in fact, does not directly pay tariffs on goods coming into the U.S., breaking with President Trump’s insistence that it does.
Trump, who has argued that trade wars are “good and easy to win,” suggested on Saturday that the U.S. was “collecting” tariffs from China:
Trump also addressed the issue in a press conference last week.
“Our country can take in $120 billion a year in tariffs, paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us,” he said. “A lot of people try to steer it in a different direction. It’s really paid — ultimately, it’s paid for by — largely, by China.
Kudlow initially explained that China will suffer significant GDP losses as export markets are hit, while the impact to U.S. growth will be relatively insignificant, thanks to the “terrific” Trump economy.
But Fox host Chris Wallace pressed him on the issue.
“It’s not China that pays tariffs,” Wallace said. “It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, in effect, is a tax increase and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.”
While Kudlow conceded that “both sides” will feel the pinch of a trade war, he maintained that “this is a risk we should and can take without damaging our economy in any appreciable way.”
Watch the interview:
The trade-war fears are again spilling over into the stock market, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and the S&P 500
pointing to a rough start to the week.
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