The claims are that the damage the trade war is doing to the US economy is minimal. Recent data, including a plethora of data from official sources, suggests otherwise.
The recent statements from the White House suggest a divergence of opinion between the Trump Administration and the American business world. The divide is also present in American public institutions, as customs data released on Sunday has revealed that Chinese imports of US products declined by 22% in August. Of course China has also been shipping far less to the US, but that doesn’t come as a positive for American businesses. While it’s hard to predict what will come going forward, it can be said that the Chinese economy has been hit harder so far, but it would be incorrect to assert that the US economy hasn’t taken a hit as well.
Speaking to Fox Business, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Monday that there have been “certain situations where there have been difficulties” for some companies. Mnuchin explained that the administration has compensated for the damage through a special process that exempts a small selection of products from tariffs. “We have not yet seen any impact on the US economy,” Mnuchin said in the interview, “We’ve navigated this very carefully.”
Hundreds of American business representatives have come forward to testify over the past year on how the trade war is expected to effect them. The majority opinion is that tariffs will force them to raise their prices or pause some of their investments. Trade uncertainty has added an element of fear and unpredictability into the markets, but the broader US economy hasn’t suffered as much as the Chinese economy so far. All the same, the trade war has weighed on growth in the US, China, and several other economies that rely on global trade and the now-slowing Chinese economy.