Trump Economic Advisor Contradicts President, Admits Americans Pay Tariffs on Imports from China

Trump Economic Advisor Contradicts President, Admits Americans Pay Tariffs on Imports from China

The gap between the president’s rhetoric and that of the reality that even his advisors live in remains vast.

Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow admitted on Sunday that, contrary to what the president keeps saying, American consumers will pay for the tariffs the administration has slapped on imports from China.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace played a clip of Trump saying China would pay tariffs, not Americans. Wallace then said, “But Larry, that isn’t true. It’s not China that pays tariffs. It’s American importers, it’s American companies that pay what is in effect a tax increase, and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.”

Kudlow responded, “Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay.”

“Both sides will pay” is not what Trump has been saying since he started this trade war with China. In multiple speeches, interviews and tweets, he has said China will be the ones paying.

Kudlow then said that China’s GDP will suffer as the nation loses a market for its exports. Wallace then pressed him, saying that China may suffer a bit, but “it’s U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers who pay, correct?”

“I don’t disagree with that,” Kudlow admitted.

The rest of the conversation consisted mostly of Wallace pointing out some ways in which the tariffs will hurt the average American household and Kudlow disputing his numbers while stating that correcting some long-term unfair trading practices with China is worth the risk. Which likely won’t be very comforting to American consumers who see prices on goods going up.

Kudlow also seems to think Americans are fully behind Trump taking on China in a trade war. Polls taken both before the midterms and more recently would suggest the public is actually split down the middle.

Watch the video up top, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.