The Trump administration doesn't seem to care about 146,000 Americans who will lose their jobs because of Trump's trade war.
Trump’s impending trade war is going to cost over 100,000 Americans their jobs, but one of Trump’s top economists thinks that’s a “small” price for American workers to pay.
Kevin Hassett, chair of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Hassett testified at a Senate Budget Committee hearing this week, where Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine pressed him about the effects of steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump imposed on a whim.
“Did the CEA recommend, to the president, the tariffs that were announced on steel and aluminum?” Kaine asked.
Hassett told Kaine that his recommendations to Trump were confidential, but offered his own analysis.
“There’s been a pretty big literature that shows that in the industries themselves, there’s a little bit of an increase in employment,” Hassett said. But, he added, “In the downstream steel-consuming and aluminum-consuming industries, there tends to be a little bit of a loss, those two things, in the literature, have been a small net negative.”
Kaine then read Hassett some of the startling figures from the Trade Partnership report on these tariffs. The report states that these tariffs will result in at least 146,000 lost American jobs. That number doesn’t even include job losses from retaliation to Trump’s trade war.
Other estimates of short-run job losses from Trump’s tariffs range as high as 190,000, but the long term effect of Trump’s trade war could be a “global recession,” according to Moody’s analyst Mark Zandi.
But apparently, that’s Hassett apparently considers a “small net negative.”
Earlier this month, the White House didn’t even have a response to those predicted job losses. When White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about it, she simply said, “Look, this is something the president is committed to doing.”
Hassett’s characterization of these job losses as “small” is particularly galling in light of the fact that when Trump isn’t bragging about the “revival” of a coal industry that created only 130 net jobs in his first year, he’s taking credit for jobs that don’t even exist.
But the jobs Americans will lose in Trump’s trade war are very real, and to those Americans’ families, there’s nothing “small” about them.