China paying for tariffs, not America, Peter Navarro insists

While consumer spending remains strong, manufacturing productivity tumbled at the fastest rate in nearly two years.

The Wall Street Journal is accusing White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and President Trump of causing not only this but also the plummeting stock market due to their trade war with China.

The article calls for them to call a trade truce to provide some stability. Navarro told FOX Business' Liza Claman on "The Claman Countdown" he considered the article to be just "another love letter from the Wall Street Journal."

Navarro said he's not worried about the American economy because of the jobs generated during the Trump economy, and he was encouraged by James Bullard's exclusive interview with FOX Business regarding the economy as well.

"The most important thing I think he said was that we're far, far away from tripping the Fed's inflation targets, so there's plenty of room to run in terms of lowering rates," Navarro said.

Claman disputed that statement, asking why there would be a bigger-than-expected rate cut when there's not a recession on the horizon.

"The issue has never been, for us here at the White House, a rate cut to stave off a recession," Navarro said. "That's not it at all."

The issue has never been ... a rate cut to stave off a recession

- White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro

He maintains the Federal Reserve raising rates too fast caused the trouble in the U.S. economy.

"The point of a 50-basis point cut is not to avoid a recession; it's to make a strong economy stronger," Navarro said.

But when it comes to the economy impacted by the China tariff announcement, Claman made sure to mention an interview with a CEO of a bicycle-making company in New Jersey who claims his company is paying $360,000 of import duty that they need to pay to U.S. Customs within the next three weeks.

Navarro disputed those claims, saying tariffs on the first $250 billion of Chinese imports have been in place for nearly a year now and insisted there has been no inflation.

"China has borne the entire burden of those tariffs in a number of ways, through slashing their prices, through slashing the value of their currency and through a hemorrhaging of the supply chain out of China," Navarro said.

China has borne the entire burden of those tariffs.

- White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro

He reiterated an idea of how companies can shift the tariffs onto China but did admit he agreed with Trump's decision to delay the second round of tariffs to Dec. 15 as to not affect the Christmas shopping season.

"I was absolutely for that ... we built some goodwill with the Chinese, but equally important, this is a president who's great at listening to stakeholders whether it be business executives or union leaders or anyone in between," Navarro said.

This is a president who's great at listening to stakeholders.

- White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro

Navarro said what they heard from those people is that most of the products that were going to be for sale during the Christmas season were already contracted, so to renegotiate those deals would have been extremely difficult.


He also mentioned the business leaders told the White House to delay them into Dec. 15 to give them time to move their production out of China.