President Donald Trump defended his tariff policies during a speech on Tuesday at the Economic Club of New York. He denied that his erratic trade policies are causing uncertainty for U.S. businesses. Trump doubled down, saying the U.S. would “actually be in much worse shape” over the long term if he wasn’t aggressively challenging China right now.
Despite the negative impact on farming, manufacturing, and other economic sectors, Trump has plenty of positive ammunition. Some of the positive economic data include unemployment down to 3.6 percent in October, while consumer confidence surveys remain high. However, economic growth is on a course to slow to about 2.3 percent this year. Growth may even be on track to slow further in 2020.
The Port of Los Angeles says Trump’s tariffs are threatening nearly 1.5 million American jobs and over $186 billion in economic activity across the nation. Trump is also claiming that the U.S. and China are closing in on a partial ‘Phase One’ trade agreement, even though the sides are still negotiating over tariff rollbacks after the deal is signed.