President Donald Trump is trying to reach a deal that will be good for the United States, China, and global growth, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said Monday, adding that one of the main issues is on tariffs.
However, while negotiations continue, that "can be unsettling for markets," Hassett told Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria" host Maria Bartiromo.
"If a country came to the U.S. right now and offered zero tariffs, zero nontariff barriers, full access to the markets, the president would take it," Hassett said. "That's his long-run objective. We come into the world with all these countries that have tariffs five times bigger than the tariffs we have on them. Previous presidents tried to talk them down and not gotten anywhere."
Trump, however, is serious in his contention if the tariffs do not come down, he will use measures like tariffs on steel to "make sure they understand that we want fair and reciprocal trade," Hassett said.
Meanwhile, there are tariffs against Mexico included in the new USMCA and there are some who believe legislation to approve it should not be considered unless the tariffs are removed, Bartiromo noted.
"I think the Congress should accept the USMCA," Hassett said. "It's the first modern 21st century trade deal, it should be a lay-up to get through Congress."
Hassett also said Monday he does not expect the economy to slow down from its current levels, noting officials are looking at growth of 3.1 or 3.2 percent for next year, but down to 2.5 percent for the fourth quarter.
"Think about the job numbers, how strong they were," Hassett said. "We've got very, very strong labor market. We have GDP of around 3 percent. We have a capital spending boom. I think the fundamentals are strong."
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