With growing concerns about the economy and the impact a trade war with China will have on it, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has a solution–and the White House showed some signs of listening.
Scott took to the airwaves last week and appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” where he proposed the federal government should return money Americans might lose due to tariffs on China through tax cuts.
“Anything we raise in tariffs, we should give back to the rank and public in tax reductions,” Scott told CNBC, insisting a tax cut would help address “short-term pain” Americans might be feeling.
Scott noted that farmers were vulnerable in a trade war.
“We have to help American farmers open up more markets around the world,” Scott added.
Still, Scott insisted “we have to help American companies” and “get more American jobs and stop helping China.”
The Florida Republican was critical of that nation. “Stop acting like they are a partner,” Scott said about China.
“I’m not sure what else we can do, other than stand up for American interests and American values,” Scott added. “I’m not sure what the president can do otherwise than the tariffs he is doing.”
Later last week, Scott doubled down on his support of President Donald Trump’s trade policies with China.
Last week, the White House announced it would delay imposing a 10 percent tariff on goods from China. While originally scheduled to start on September 1, the White House is now moving that date to December 15.
In a sign that the Trump administration was listening to Scott, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic advisor, pointed to the Florida senator’s proposal during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” this week.
Saying the Trump administration was considering another round of tax cuts, Kudlow noted Scott’s proposal.
“By the way Senator Rick Scott of Florida, very smart guy, made an interesting proposal on another network last week,” Kudlow said. “He said, ‘look, why don’t we take the tariffs from the China trade and turn those back to the taxpayers in the form of tax cuts?’ That’s an idea.”
But Trump might have closed the door to Scott’s idea on Wednesday.
“I’m not looking at a tax cut now. We don’t need it. We have a strong economy,” Trump said.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.