Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed his administration’s tariff policies were successful in response to The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s cautioning against the 10 percent tariff policy he promotes on the campaign trail.
When the GOP frontrunner proposed implementing a 10 percent tariff on foreign imports into the country, arguing that the policy “would really make a lot of money,” the WSJ editorial board pushed back, suggesting that “Americans should be prepared to pay more for all kinds of goods” under the proposal.”
“This is worth taking literally and seriously because Mr. Trump meant what he said about tariffs when he ran for President in 2016,” the editorial board said, citing a Tax Foundation analysis that found tariffs cost Americans $80 billion and 166,000 full-time-equivalent jobs during his presidency.
Trump fired back at the analysis in an op-ed of his own: “Even after being proven spectacularly and totally wrong in all their past predictions regarding my historically successful trade policies, the die-hard globalists at the editorial board still have not learned their lesson,” he wrote, claiming the editorial board was just reciting “debunked talking points from corporate-funded studies about our tariffs’ alleged impact on American consumers.”
He instead pushed the country’s trade deficit as a measure of his administration’s success, pointing to the deficit with China he said was “down year-over-year for five straight quarters” ahead of the pandemic. The editorial board, however, had already addressed and dismissed that point in its analysis, arguing that the trade deficit “isn’t a useful measure of economic performance” and noting that it had increased under his administration even when adjusting for inflation.
The White House also criticized Trump’s proposal last week, echoing the board’s warning that it would lead to higher prices.