Ex-Trump Adviser Calls for Trump’s Tariffs on China to be Revoked

“These tariffs increase the cost of many of the goods that American consumers buy,” Cohn told CNN.

Cohn, now Vice Chairman IBM (IBM)actively advocates free trade and often clashed with pro-tariff Trump officials.

“In general, some tariffs make sense. But many tariffs simply act like a consumption tax,” he said.

Cohn, former Goldman Sachs executive, announced his retirement from the Trump administration in March 2018 after Trump promised to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“There are many views on trading. My view on trading is quite simple. If we’re making something here in the United States, we have to protect our manufacturers,” Cohn told CNN. “If we don’t make something here in the United States, and we’re not going to make it here in the United States, I don’t think we should be taxing it.”

Won’t solve inflation

Biden on Tuesday said he plans to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the US president is considering cutting some tariffs on China. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said some of these tariffs hurt families and businesses.

“If you get rid of these tariffs, the prices of these goods should come down,” Cohn said.

However, he acknowledged that this would not be a panacea for inflation, which unexpectedly intensified in May.

“Nothing will help solve inflation. We have to do as much as we can to try and bring prices down,” he said.

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Of course, both parties are concerned about China’s trade practices. Removing tariffs could undermine efforts to address issues such as intellectual property theft, illegal subsidies and the dumping of cheap products on foreign markets.

Not to mention that China failed to honor the first trade agreement signed in early 2020. China is estimated to have purchased only 57% of US exports of goods and services during the 2020-2021 period it has committed to fulfill under the agreement. from Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Asked if the tariff cut would reward China for not keeping its end of the deal, Cohn replied.

“Are we rewarding China? Are we rewarding US citizens because they are going to buy these goods no matter what, and we are taking more disposable income out of their hands,” Cohn said.

“Control Your Destiny”

In addition to cutting tariffs, Cohn called on lawmakers to fight inflation by investing in U.S. supply chains. Specifically, he called on Congress to pass the bipartisan Innovation Act, a bill championed by the White House, that would invest in domestic computer chip manufacturing.

“Clearly, chips and computer chips are currently the biggest limiting factor in the amount of goods we all need as American consumers. It affects us in almost every area of ​​our daily lives,” Cohn said. “It starts with the security of the country and military equipment, all the way down to our everyday appliances that we have on our countertops and everything in between.”

The shortage of computer chips has undermined the production of automobiles, pushing up the prices of both new and used cars and contributing to today’s high inflation rate.

Kon noted that the United States relies on Taiwan and China for the vast majority of its high-performance computer chips, including semiconductors that are used in weapons systems and aircraft.

“We need to bring manufacturing back here to the United States so we can control our own supply chain and our own destiny,” Cohn said.

Last summer, the Senate passed legislation providing $52 billion for the production and research of computer chips in the US. The funding has not yet been signed into law, and lawmakers are still haggling about the details.

Elizabeth Warren to Fed Chair Jerome Powell:
Earlier this month, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Sean Kasten called for “corporate fencing” this would ensure that the funding would not go to enrich the CEOs. Lawmakers have called for conditions to prevent fund recipients from buying back their own shares, outsourcing jobs and canceling existing collective bargaining agreements.

“Fencing is essential to create and protect jobs in America,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Kohn, however, argued that these restrictions would discourage companies from investing in America.

“If we install these fences, what will unfortunately happen is that American companies will not take the money,” Cohn said. “They will take money from foreign governments and build their facilities in other countries.”

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