- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 3, 2018

Those worried that tariffs could backfire by killing U.S. jobs need to remember that nobody has been more effective in building up the poor than President Trump, according to his senior trade adviser.

Peter Navarro, White House director of trade policy, cited falling unemployment rates, including Friday’s jobs report. showing record-low black unemployment, as well as the expansion of manufacturing.

“No president has fought the war on poverty better than Donald J. Trump,” Mr. Navarro said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

His comments came after G7 nations released a statement Saturday conveying their “unanimous concern and disappointment” about recent steel and aluminum tariffs from finance leaders from Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy and Germany.

“At the end of the day, this is a trade dispute, and the president is going to defend this country, he stands for American workers, and he’s standing up for them now,” said Mr. Navarro.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the tariffs “totally unacceptable,” but Mr. Navarro said U.S. trade partners need to examine their own “unfair trade practices.”

He said that Canada, for example, “just kicks us on lumber and puts people out of work in Maine. They kick us on dairy, [which] puts people out of work in Wisconsin.”

Meanwhile, Larry Kudlow, White House chief economic advisor, characterized the G7 pushback as “more of a family quarrel.”

He downplayed but didn’t rule out the possibility that a trade dispute could hurt the booming economy, saying, “It might. I don’t deny that. You have to keep an eye on it.”

“It’s possible, absolutely. I don’t think it has right now,” Mr. Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday.”

At the same time, he said, a level playing field on trade could add more fuel to an economy already roaring in response to tax cuts and reductions in regulations.

“I think trade can dovetail into this in a positive way if the president is able to challenge these trading practices and allow Americans to export freely around the world,” Mr. Kudlow said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Friday showed May unemployment at 3.8 percent, the lowest since 1969, with female unemployment at 3.6 percent, the lowest since 1953.

After setting a record last month at 6.6 percent, black unemployment dropped again to 5.9 percent, the lowest since record-keeping by race began in 1972.

“It’s wonderful, wonderful news,” said Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens on “Fox & Friends.” “It cannot be overstated what this president has done for the community, the hope that he is inspiring, the economic growth that he has inspired within this country.”

Mr. Navarro pointed to a $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill being built in Ashland, Kentucky, that will create jobs with a starting salary of $65,000 per year in a struggling Appalachian region where the median household income is $44,140.

“All this idea about people worried about losing their jobs: Not going to happen in the Trump economy,” Mr. Navarro said.

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