Since Trump first imposed tariffs on some Chinese imports in January 2018, he has stuck to three core talking points:
Except tariffs have probably hampered U.S. economic output, and the trade deficit is near an all-time high. On Tuesday, Trump acknowledged what multiple studies have long said: U.S. businesses and consumers are paying for the tariffs.
After Tuesday’s about-face, Trump officials quickly followed suit, which you can watch in the video above.
After previously downplaying the effect of tariffs on U.S. consumers, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Wednesday called Trump’s reversal a “Christmas present to the nation,” and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said “nobody wants to take any chance of disrupting the Christmas season.” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has defended Trump’s tariffs despite previously calling tariffs a tax on U.S. consumers.
Left unsaid by Trump officials: If the tariffs were not hurting U.S. businesses or consumers and were paid for by China, why would Trump need to delay them for U.S. shoppers?
Trump did not say.