January 20, 2020

Trump Says He’s Exploring ‘Various Tax Reductions,’ and the Economic Data He Loves Shows Why

The indicators suggest that the effects of Mr. Trump’s trade fights with China and Europe and a slowdown in global growth are dragging on the American economy and eroding the short-term boost from the president’s 2017 tax cuts.

Economists, including those at the Federal Reserve, say uncertainty from Mr. Trump’s trade policies and the impact of higher tariffs are the biggest threat to the American economy. Mr. Trump is prepared to impose new rounds of tariffs on imports from China in September and December, which would affect a large batch of consumer goods, and he has threatened to impose tariffs on imported automobiles next year.

Mr. Trump suggested on Tuesday that his fight with China would be worth some economic pain — including a brief recession — if it helped reduce America’s $500 billion trade deficit in goods with China.

“Whether it’s good or bad, the short term is irrelevant,” he said. “We have to solve the problem with China because they’re taking out $500 billion a year plus. And that doesn’t include intellectual property theft and other things. And also, national security, so I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, ‘Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?’”

It is unclear when — or if — the economy will tip into recession, but much of the economic progress that the White House has cited has already lost steam.

Last September, administration officials walked reporters through charts that they said showed the economy, under Mr. Trump, outperformed what had been its trend in Mr. Obama’s second term.

“I can promise you that economic historians will 100 percent accept the fact that there was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump and that a whole bunch of data items started heading north,” Kevin Hassett, then the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/20/us/politics/trump-economy-recession-data.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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