Patterico's Pontifications


Yes, Americans Suffer from Trump’s Tariffs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am


National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where Chris Wallace pressed him on Trump’s factually incorrect claims about tariffs.

“Larry, that isn’t true,” Wallace said. “It’s not China that pays tariffs; it’s the American importers.”

Kudlow responded: “Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.”

But that wasn’t sufficient for Wallace. So he pressed again.

“But the tariff on goods coming into the country, the Chinese aren’t paying,” Wallace said.

Kudlow again conceded that what Trump was saying was wrong: “No. But the Chinese will suffer GDP losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market and goods that they may need for their own —”

Wallace again cut in.

“I understand that, but the president says . . . that China — it pays the tariffs. They may suffer consequences, but it’s U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers who pay, correct?” Wallace asked.

Kudlow again conceded the point, but also tried to argue that China pays a price, too, because of lost exports: “Yes, to some extent. Yes, I don’t disagree with that. Again, both sides will suffer on this.”

Meanwhile, GOP Senators are giving up:

The GOP is starting to give up on thwarting President Donald Trump’s trade agenda.

Senate Republicans acknowledge that the president’s latest tariff increase on Chinese imports are harming farm state economies, their own constituents and some of Trump’s most reliable voters. But there’s no plan to stop, or even threaten, the president’s tariff regime — just the latest example of Trump imposing his protectionist will on a party that once celebrated free trade.

As the stock market tanked on Monday following the escalating conflict with China, Republicans lamented the state of affairs. But after trying, unsuccessfully, to get the president to remove his year-old tariffs on U.S. allies, there’s little appetite for opening a new front with Trump when it comes to China.

They’re scared that Trump will chase them out of office if they criticize them, and they know their constituents, who are suffering the effects of the tariffs, still like Trump. So they’re shrugging their shoulders and waiting until said constituents figure it out. And I guess those constituents will have to figure it out with any leadership from them, whatsoever.

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