Over the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump has “privately” expressed concern over the potential deterioration of the economic situation in the country, which could reduce his chances of being re-elected for a second term in 2020, CNN cited unnamed sources as saying. The White House has yet to comment on the story.
The sources claimed that Trump had instructed his aides “with increasing urgency to develop proposals to fortify Americans’ flagging confidence in the economy.”
The proposals include the so-called “all hands on deck” initiative which stipulates possible tax cuts and new trade agreements Canada and Mexico as well as increasing pressure on the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.
The sources argued that both Trump and his senior aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, held telephone talks with business leaders to brief them on the US-China trade talks and “other economic efforts in an attempt at reassurance.”
The proposals are due to be rolled out as early as the autumn in case the economic situation shows sign of deteriorating, according to the sources.
Trump Touts ‘the Best Economy in the World’
The move comes a few weeks after Trump went on Twitter to heap praise on the strength of the US economy, claiming that it was outperforming other economies across the world.
Our economy is the best in the world, by far. Lowest unemployment ever within almost all categories. Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed. Import prices down, China eating Tariffs. Helping targeted Farmers from big Tariff money coming in. Great future for USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2019
In a separate tweet, he lashed out at “the Fake News Media” for “doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”
The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election. The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Earlier, the New York Times cited unnamed sources as saying that US President Donald Trump claimed in private conversations that his opponents are hatching a conspiracy against him to distort economic data, in order to scupper his chances of winning the 2020 presidential race.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has promised that the US Central Bank will act to preserve US economic expansion in the face of looming risks, adding that the bank is “going to continue to act as appropriate to sustain this expansion.”
....My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
The statement came after Trump wrote on his Twitter page that he was not sure who is the “bigger enemy” of the United States: Powell, or Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also accused the Federal Reserve of being weak and doing nothing to develop the US economy.
Trump’s criticism followed Powell’s statement that the US economy was still performing well, despite uncertainty over trade policy. He was referring to US-Chinese trade tensions, escalated by Trump’s move to target Chinese goods with new tariffs.
US-China Trade Spat
The US-Chinese tariff dispute has been simmering since June 2018, when Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in a bid to balance the trade deficit between the US and China. Since then the sides have engaged in tit-for-tat tariff hikes.
In the latest escalation, China moved to introduce tariffs on roughly $75 billion worth of US goods on crude oil and agricultural products, as well as taxes on US imports of automobiles and their components, starting on 1 September and 15 December respectively.