Ex-Treasury Secretary Tells Macomb Trump Tariffs Could Cost Jobs, Raise Prices

Courtesy of Macomb Community College

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers talks with students at Macomb Community College

Trump Administration officials say they may wait until June before imposing new tariffs on goods made in China.

President Trump announced the tariffs in retaliation for what he calls China’s unfair trade practices, including the alleged theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property.

The delay in imposing tariffs gives the Administration time to negotiate revisions with China and head-off what many Trump critics fear could become a trade war.

Those critics include one of the chief economic advisors during the Clinton and Obama Administrations.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Director of the White House National Economic Council Larry Summers spoke this week at Macomb Community College.

He says a potential trade was with China depends on the negotiating tactics used by the Trump Administration.

If it’s all threats and something is worked out I doubt there’ll be any serious consequences,” Summers says. “If we impose tariffs and then China responds and then we respond, you get a cycle of escalation (and) I think the consequences could be quite serious.”

Summers says a trade war with China would mean higher prices for consumers, less real income for workers and fewer new investments by business owners. 

He adds that, in his view, Trump’s proposed steel tariffs could backfire, raising prices and costing jobs for manufacturers in Michigan and elsewhere.


Click on the audio link above to hear the full interview with Larry Summers

Image credit: U.S. Department of Energy.gov

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.


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