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Trump on tariff, China trade war: ‘Absolutely no effect on economy’

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President Donald
Trump

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  • President Donald Trump talked about the economic impact of
    the his tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese products during a
    rare press conference on Wednesday.
  • “And it’s had no impact on our … economy, which I said it
    wouldn’t,” Trump said.
  • This claim is contradicted by numerous US businesses that are
    complaining of increased costs due to the tariffs. 

President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed the trade conflict
with China has not had any effect on the US economy, despite
American businesses warning about pain caused from the tariffs.

At a press conference in New York City following meetings at the
United Nations, Trump said tariffs on steel, aluminum, and
Chinese products are not hurting the US.

“A lot of money is coming into our coffers,” Trump said of the
new tariffs. “And it’s had no impact on our — absolutely, by the
way — no impact on our economy which I said it wouldn’t.” 

While macroeconomic data such as inflation and GDP growth has
remained strong since the start of trade threats, Trump’s claims
fly in the face of anecdotal stories from US businesses around
the country.

For instance,
Ford announced on Wednesday
that the steel tariffs have cost
the company $1 billion. Other
smaller businesses
have been
forced to lay off employees
or
delay investment plans
due to
increased costs from the tariffs
.


Inflation for particular products
 hit by the tariffs is
also on the rise, such
as washing machines,
 which could indicate that the pain
will spread out to the broader economy.

As an example of the benefits of the tariffs, Trump pointed to
the American steel industry and said the sector is being “rebuilt
overnight.”

“In fact steel is like the hottest industry there is, if you look
at what happened in steel we’re charging 25% tariffs on steel,”
Trump said.

The president also claimed that US Steel is opening up at least
eight plants in the wake of the tariffs and Nucor is also opening
up plants. While Nucor is opening two smaller mills,
US Steel is not planning on opening any plants —
 rather,
it plans to invest more in their current operations.

In addition to the tariff concerns, Trump also hit on a series of
other trade issues during the press conference:

  • Trump touted
    the agreement between the US and Japan
    to start
    negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two
    countries. The president said Japanese President Shinzo Abe
    agreed to but more American natural gas and military equipment.
  • Trump also touted the revised free trade agreement with South
    Korea. “Means a lot of business for our farmers, we’re opening up
    for our farmers, opening up for a lot of different groups,” Trump
    said. “We’re going to be able to sell much more than double the
    number of automobiles that we were allowed under a deal that was
    totally defective that was there before.”
  • Trump warned that Canada needs to come to the table to revise
    the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and complained
    about the country’s dairy tariffs.
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