White House Economic Advisor, Gary Cohn says Trump would prefer the world with lower international tariffs, free trade, and is still facing a decision regarding environmental restrictions in relation to climate change. He also made clarifying statements regarding the US’s position on sanctions on Russia.
Cohn’s reflections on Trump’s foreign trip were primarily focused on the G7 meeting. The meeting was apparently focused on four primary themes – global economy, trade, climate, and innovation.
Trade dominated the conversation, according to Cohn, and there was some discussion on the climate nearing the end, but not nearly as extensive as the discourse on the economy had been.
POTUS was very engaged in conversation, although he apparently waited to hear from all other participants before sharing his own thoughts and opinions on the topics at hand. Reportedly, Trump was very eager to listen to the other leaders and hear their ideas.
President Trump did reiterate his own views on trade and the global economy, emphasizing the importance he placed on fair trade, free trade, and open trade – recurring concepts through his campaign and presidency. He discussed and later explained what he believed reciprocal trade is. Saying that his view on global trade, in relation to reciprocal trade, is ‘you treat us the way we treat you; or we treat you the way you treat us’. Essentially saying his preference was that other nations would adjust their tariff levels to meet that of the US, in attempts to gain lower international tariff levels that would, in turn, propagate more international trade and prosperity.
With regards to the brief conversation on the environment, Trump apparently defended his views on the environment, saying “the environment is very very important to me”. He mentioned environmental awards he’d won in the past, all in attempts to portray that environmental causes are of value to him. Trump says he is waiting to come to the right decision (regarding the Paris climate deal), to take his time to fully learn about the consequences and factors at play. A final decision will be expected this coming week.
Further, Cohn said that Trump reiterated that with respect to China and India, the US has fallen behind in some respects, particularly in regards to manufacturing and job-creation. He said Trump was fully committed to fulfilling his campaign promises of creating more upward mobility and improving job availability in the US. Particularly to help improve lifestyles of lower income Americans.
Cohn then brought mention to the statement signed by all leaders of the G7 on terrorism. A statement that reaffirmed their commitment to work alongside together as G7 countries more collaboratively, in sharing information, Intel, and efforts, to fight terrorism.
Lastly, Cohn clarified an earlier statement he had made regarding Russia, one that had gathered some degree of confusion from the press. He had said (regarding Russian sanctions) that it’s “not just a right, it’s a left”. Giving a bit of context, he explained that he had been asked whether the US was looking at lowering sanctions on Russia, and he had responded saying rather than looking at the situation in only one direction, they were looking at it in both directions, a statement that was misinterpreted.
Cohn clarified, saying his earlier statement had been more ambiguous than intended and had thereby sparked some confusion.
He stated, quite clearly, that the US is not lowering sanctions on Russia, saying: “if anything, we’re looking at getting tougher on Russia”, a statement that also largely contradicts what the mainstream media has portrayed as the current establishment’s suspiciously positive relationship with Russia.
He also said that President Trump has made it quite clear how Russia can have the sanctions be lifted, but that until according to changes have been made sanctions are not being lowered.
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