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US trade official downplays effects of new tariffs: CNBC

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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade strategy with China, which includes levying new tariffs that have sparked a trade clash, is not as disruptive as many describe.

“We got two economies that add up to around $30 trillion in annual GDP. The amount of trade we’re affecting with the tariffs is a rounding error compared to that,” he said during an interview at the White House.

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“My point is that it’s much less disruptive than these headlines would suggest, and it’s much more constructive as we see the adjustments made in terms of where investment is going to go and where we’re going to build.”

White House officials are giving CNBC a series of interviews as part of the administration’s rollout of a new workforce initiative.

Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC the new tariffs only affect a small portion of imports and that so far they have not had a widespread negative effect on the economy.

“Anecdotally there are some disruptions and I understand that. And there’s some retaliation going on,” he said, adding that despite price increases in steel he had not seen layoffs in steel-consuming industries. “The things that we’ve been looking for that are the key indicators are not showing signs of anything serious yet.”

Hassett said 4 percent of imports are affected by the tariffs.

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Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Alison Williams and Jeffrey Benkoe


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’

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MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.

"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."

"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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