Former White House adviser Steve Bannon on Wednesday said that he stood behind President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods because the U.S. needs to “lance the boil” on China trade.
“We’re not only the rising power, we’re the dominant power, and we’re going to re-form the world along the lines of free-market democratic capitalism, and here’s how it’s going to be,” Bannon explained to CNBC’s Squawk Box program. “You’ve got to break — you’ve got to lance the boil. And that’s what Donald Trump is doing right now. I think our European allies are going to come around, I think they’re going to individually come around to this, because I think they see the wisdom and the toughness of what Trump’s doing.”
CNBC’s host pressed: “If lancing the boil causes an economic downturn, if lancing the boil causes a decline in the stock market of more than 10%, and it’s around election time, what happens to the resolve?”
Bannon insisted that Trump’s trade war with China would be a benefit to Republicans in the upcoming 2020 elections.
“First off, I don’t think that’s going to happen but I think you realize with Joe Biden launching in Pennsylvania, this is going to be the debate the American workers, the men and women that saw those factories leave, the American farmers understand these are patriots they put the national interests of the country before their own personal interests they’ve seen the elites totally do this for themselves they understand,” Bannon said.
“There may be some short-term pain, okay,” he added. “But Donald Trump, and I think others, understand we have to power through this now, it turns out that the numbers on Trump’s plan are actually better. The 3.2% growth is driven by the decline in exports from China. The import prices are falling, right? But a lot of it’s tied to this so, right now, this is working I happen to think, and I think Trump believes and the people around Trump believe it’s going to continue to work.”
Watch the video below from CNBC.