In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy

In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy


And signs of damage from Mr. Trump’s trade war with China have been mounting.

In some conversations, the president has been preoccupied with the trade war, as well as with how to handle the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to the people who have spoken with him. “I’d love to see it worked out in a humane fashion,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Sunday. “It does put pressure on the trade deal.”

On Sunday, his advisers battled any notion that the trade war could be harming the economy. Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has urged the president on in his trade war, dismissed a study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that showed that the cost of Mr. Trump’s tariffs had “fallen largely on the U.S.,” not on China and other countries, as the administration has asserted.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this,” Mr. Navarro said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” insisting, despite abundant data to the contrary, that “they’re not hurting anybody here.”

While maintaining that any turmoil in the economy is overstated, Mr. Navarro and Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also said the Federal Reserve had slowed economic growth, mirroring Mr. Trump’s criticisms.

Mr. Kudlow, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” said that the state of the economy under the Trump administration “is kind of a miracle, because we face severe monetary restraint from the Fed.”

Mr. Navarro, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” blamed the Fed for raising interest rates “too far, too fast,” adding that “they have cost us a full point” of growth in gross domestic product.

Mr. Trump has also struck an increasingly strident economic tone.

“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes” if Democrats win, he told a crowd at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., last week. “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”



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