The stock market responded, bouncing off its lows.
“If a country came to the US right now and offered Zero tariffs, Zero non-tariff barriers, full access to the markets, the President would take it,” Mr. Hassett said. “That’s his long-run objective. We come into the world with all these countries that have tariffs five times bigger than the tariffs we have on them. Previous presidents tried to talk them down and not gotten anywhere.”
Trump, however, is serious in his contention that if the tariffs don’t come down, he’ll use measures like tariffs on steel to “make sure they understand that we want fair and reciprocal trade,” said Hassett.
Meanwhile, there are tariffs against Mexico included in the new USMCA and there are some who believe that legislation to approve it should not be considered unless the tariffs are removed, Bartiromo noted.
“I think the Congress should accept the USMCA,” said Mr. Hassett. “It iss the 1st modern 21st Century trade deal, it should be a lay-up to get through Congress.”
Mr. Hassett also said he does not expect the economy to slow down from its current levels, noting that officials are looking at growth of 3.1 or 3.2 percent for next year, but down to 2.5% for Q-4.
“Think about the job numbers, how strong they were,” said Mr. Hassett. “We’ve got very, very strong labor market. We have GDP of around 3%. We have a capital spending boom. I think the fundamentals are strong.”
Unless US-China trade talks wrap up successfully by 1 March, new tariffs will be imposed, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday
“As far as I am concerned it is a hard deadline. When I talk to the president of the United States he is not talking about going beyond March,” Lighthizer said in a TV interview, referring to President Trump’s decision to delay new tariffs while talks proceed.
“The way this is set up is that at the end of 90 days, these tariffs will be raised,” said Mr. Lighthizer, who has been tapped to lead the talks.A