Former Obama administration economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said Thursday he believes signing the first phase of the U.S. and China trade agreement was an important step, but more needs to be included in the deal.
“I think if you look at this first stage China deal, it’s OK. There's not a lot in it,” Goolsbee told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo, adding that inking the deal helps ease volatility in the stock market that stemmed from geopolitical turmoil between Washington and Beijing.
Phase one of the U.S.-China trade deal was officially signed Wednesday with more than $200 billion in purchases being agreed upon.
Beijing will purchase up to $50 billion of crops, $40 billion in services, $50 billion in energy and $75 billion to $80 billion worth of manufacturing, according to Chinese sources and President Trump.
But, Goolsbee said Americans are not “in a better place” with the new agreement because tariffs are still being enforced.
“For sure we're not in a better place in my mind because we still have these tariffs on American consumers … They didn't put the boot on China,” he said. “They put the boot on American consumers. That's who pays tariffs.”
Trump has been notoriously tough on China and its theft of U.S. intellectual property, but Goolsbee doesn't believe the trade deal will hold Beijing's feet to the fire.
“All that's in here are the same vague promises where China says, ‘We will start to protect this sometime in the future,’” he said.
Meanwhile, a day after Trump signed the phase one deal with China, the U.S. Senate voted to approve a new North American trade agreement, moving the bill to President Trump's desk to be signed into law. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces NAFTA, is expected to create around 176,000 jobs and inject $34 billion into the U.S. auto industry.
However, Goolsbee said the deal is very similar to NAFTA, but with a few successful provisions.
“USMCA is a small improvement over NAFTA,” he said. “It's 99 percent NAFTA and then it's got a few provisions that it adds that are an improvement. And I give the president credit for that.”
FOX Business’ Jonathan Garber and Edward Lawrence contributed to this story