On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told members of the Senate Banking Committee that escalating trade conflict could prove to be damaging to the domestic and worldwide economy.
Amid pressure to describe the intricacies of the situation, Powell’s testimony steered around direct comments on President Trump’s policies.
“If it results in lower tariffs for everyone, that will be a good thing for the economy. If it results in higher tariffs across a broad range of goods and services that remain that way for a long time, that will be bad for our economy and other economies, too.”
Oookay. That seems inarguable. And not at all insightful.
Powell did defend the established trade system which seems to be in the crosshairs of Trump’s levies (again, covered here), championing a removal of tariffs eventually.
Although many have lamented the present effect of tariffs, in his beginning statements to the SBC, Powell noted the U.S. economy is currently thriving.
Critics have asserted businesses are cautious to expand at the moment due to increased duties. Powell himself told the same to NPR on its Marketplace program last week.
Furthermore, some congressional officials have indicated concern, particularly for states that are especially dependent on exports. For example, Montana’s John Tester is worried about the impact on agriculture:
“There’s going to be a lot of people in family farm agriculture that are going to be put out of business.”
Tester, a Democrat, has an additional reason to be stressed: Trump heartily won his state in 2016. Therefore, the voters may still be in GOP mode. This time around, he needs to really dazzle.
And Tester isn’t alone.
Things aren’t looking good for the Dems: unemployment is ultra-low, and consumer optimism is soaring. November is coming, and — despite Trump’s folly in Helsinki (covered here) and the media’s come-apart over it (found here and here) — it isn’t the Republicans who are sweating.
Do you favor Trump’s trade decisions? Let me know in the Comments section below.
For something totally different, here are my pieces on Dennis Miller’s thoughts on 2020, Elizabeth Warren’s ridiculous response to Trump’s SCOTUS pick, and civility’s plight.
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