Former Goldman Sachs CEO backs Trump's China tariffs as 'effective negotiating tool'

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is backing President Trump’s tariffs on China as a tool to pressure the Asian nation into a trade agreement with the U.S.

“Tariffs might be an effective negotiating tool. Saying it hurts us misses the point. China relies more on trade and loses more,” he tweeted on Tuesday evening.

Amid warnings from corporate America, Main Street businesses, economists and others that Trump’s tariffs on China will increase costs for U.S. consumers, Blankfein said they could “eventually switch their purchases to domestic or non-Chinese companies” or pay more as “part of the process to assert pressure to level the playing field.”

China’s economic success is largely pegged to its exports and the country ships far more goods to the U.S. than it imports.

Trump capitalized on the discrepancy in pushing forward with tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, as well as the potential for another $300 billion in products, to exert pressure on President Xi Jinping to make significant concessions in the ongoing trade talks.

While China said it would retaliate with its own duties on $60 billion in U.S. shipments, experts say U.S. consumers are unlikely to see much of an impact on prices.

Instead, the country has other tools at its disposal to push back against the Trump administration, including making it more difficult for American businesses to operate in China.


Negotiations on a trade deal between the two nations are at a standstill, but White House officials expect additional talks in the coming weeks. Trump and Xi are also expected to meet in June at the G20 summit in Japan.