The new White House Economic Report of the President was released yesterday, and despite the fact that the report barely touched on the negative impacts of Trump’s trade policies, White House economists confirmed in a briefing that tariffs — and the uncertainty caused by the trade war — depressed the economy.
Bloomberg notes this acknowledgement directly contrasts President Trump’s claims that his trade policies have revitalized and boosted the economy.
And as Reuters points out, global trade battles resulted in significant hits towards business investment. Tomas Philipson, acting chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said:
“Once we got renegotiation of trade agreements, we saw uncertainty in the market, and investment took a hit.”
White House economists also said that tariffs contributed to the weak manufacturing numbers that the United States has been experiencing. International Business Times reported,
“In the economic report, Philipson and Tyler Goodspeed, a fellow White House economist, wrote that, “uncertainty about trade policy is one often-cited culprit in the manufacturing slowdown.”
This news comes just a few weeks after reports showed the economy grew only 2.3 percent in 2019 — the weakest annual GDP growth since President Trump took office. The Wall Street Journal named tariffs as the culprit for this slow growth.While the signing of the Phase One Deal was welcomed progress and a step in the right direction, these new reports only further prove that a Phase Two Deal must be negotiated as soon as possible to remove all tariffs. Until then, American businesses, consumers, farmers, and workers will continue to suffer.