During an interview
with Kai Ryssdal of the public-radio program “Marketplace”, White House chief economic adviser, Larry
Kudlow responded to Ryssdal’s suggestion that it’s perhaps easier for someone
in Kudlow’s position to take a sanguine view of the collateral damage caused
within certain U.S. industries by the Trump administration’s aggressive
approach to tariffs, than it is for people in the affected industries or lawmakers
representing constituents thus impacted.
Kudlow called such impacts de minimis.
Here’s a transcript of the interview:
Ryssdal: We had a Republican congresswoman from Indiana on the program
yesterday whose name is, her name is Jackie Walorski, she’s from the Indiana
second, and I said to her —
From the what?
Indiana’s 2nd congressional district right. She’s a Republican, went heavily
for the president in the election. She supports the idea of a new trade regime
under this president. But I said to her tell me what your constituents are
saying and this is Elkhart, Indiana right. They made RVs, they make all those
things that depend on steel, and she said
people are coming to her saying “we want to know when it’s going to stop.
When’s it gonna stop?”
It the tariffs and the pain that is happening to American companies and
consumers from these tariffs.
think that, look I appreciate, I don’t
happen to know this house member but you
know I appreciate the concern, absolutely.
But I will say so far the pain has been de minimis, really very little.
Look, sir, really with all respect that’s easy for you to say sitting here on
the second floor of the West Wing of the White House.
Now, don’t class warfare me [on] anything like that. I’m telling you
quantitatively we follow this very closely because we are concerned about it.
There is very little impact, almost unmeasurable impact on real GDP. OK? That’s
a fact. It may be out there. I don’t want to predict U.S.-China relations on
trade, but I’m just saying, thus far, in
GDP terms, it’s been nothing, unmeasurable.
there are worries, I get that, and I
respect those worries. Some farmers have been hurt probably the soybean area has been the clearest and hardest hit.
Soybean prices are off about 20 percent, and
there may be other things besides trade, but
I think it has a big, big to do with China’s tariffs. So I’m going to, I’m
going to even that out. I’m going to sell so many bushels of soybeans to Europe
that I’m going to take the price back to $10 and take China out of the
calculus. That’s one of the things that came out of the EU deal, and that’s by the way literally written in the, in the, in the final statement. We are
prepared to help the farmers if we need to. As the president has indicated, we could come to their rescue for a
considerable sum of money. Thus far it’s not necessary. I personally don’t think it’s ever going to be
necessary. But my crystal ball is not perfect here. Other than that, I can’t, I
just don’t see anything yet.