Still, the Trump administration appears aware of stock market damage. On Wednesday morning, major U.S. stock indexes dove amid escalating trade actions between the U.S. and China. Trump’s chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, then said the president may not impose the tariffs on Beijing, which partly helped stocks recover throughout the day. The market rose again Thursday.
The White House has suggested the proposed actions may only be a negotiating tactic to get Beijing to change its behavior. Asked Thursday if Trump would accept short-term stock market or economic harm due to the tariffs, Kudlow said that “is not [Trump’s] intention.”
“The damage to our economy comes from China’s restrictive practices,” he said.
Trump’s actions, and concerns that tariffs could damage the global economy, have partly held down stock markets this year. After equities roared in 2017, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 have fallen 1.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively, so far this year.
The president has not tweeted about the market since February, after promoting it as evidence of his success in numerous public appearances and tweets last year. On Wednesday, Kudlow called the stock market reaction to the tariffs “mild,” and then on Thursday he said he expects the U.S. will eventually reach a trade deal with China.
Trump could have election season in mind as he has pursues policies related to his 2016 campaign promises. Aside from tariffs, the president has recently focused on pledges to crack down on immigration. On Wednesday, the administration announced he planned to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico.
Many Republicans could need a boost as the GOP tries to hold on to majorities in both chambers of Congress. Democrats, who have been energized by opposition to Trump, aim to win 24 seats to take a majority in the House.