Trump defends tariffs after advisor says 'both sides' suffer
AFP, Washington :
US President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his tariff policy, insisting again that China will pay billions in duties to the US, after Trump's economic advisor raised eyebrows by saying both sides will suffer.
"We are right where we want to be with China," Trump said on Twitter.
"Remember, they broke the deal with us & tried to renegotiate. We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China."
In fact, research shows it is Americans that bear the brunt of the tariff impact, as the levies are paid by importers and ultimately passed on at least partially to consumers.
Trump's comments came after economic advisor Larry Kudlow earlier Sunday conceded that China is not the one paying the tariffs.
"Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things," Kudlow told "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."
Trump had accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments in trade talks and ordered new punitive duties, which took effect Friday, on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, raising them to 25 percent from 10 percent.
He then ordered a tariff hike on almost all remaining imports from China, which are worth about $300 billion, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
"The Chinese will suffer GDP losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market and goods that they may need," Kudlow said, before agreeing with Wallace that even though China may suffer consequences, US businesses and consumers are the ones who will pay the tariffs.
"Yes, to some extent. Yes, I don't disagree with that. Again, both sides will suffer on this," Kudlow said.
But he also assured that because the US economy "is in a boom," it would not be damaged "in any appreciable way" by the tariffs.
Trump ordered the increased duties on Friday after two days of talks to resolve the trade battle ended with no deal, although without a breakdown.
Trump began the standoff last year because of complaints about unfair Chinese trade practices. The United States is pressing China to change its policies on protections for intellectual property, as well as massive
subsidies for state-owned firms, and to reduce the yawning trade deficit.