Norquist critical of Trump’s tariff proposal

If Donald Trump is serious about seeking the Republican nomination for president, he may find himself running with little support from the party’s powerful economic conservatives.

Trump has been a vocal advocate in recent weeks for a 25 percent tariff on all Chinese imports, a proposal that influential conservative activist Grover Norquist calls “the worst kind of pandering.”

“The tariffs or the tax increases are what politicians call for when they’re expressing contempt for the American people’s intelligence,” Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Daily Caller. “Tariffs are not paid by Chinese people, they are paid by American people who buy Chinese products. It would raise the costs of everything you buy in the store. Most of those things you by from China and because you raised the price of one competitor, everybody else gets to raise their prices too.”

Supporters of The Donald point to his vast fortune and business successes as evidence that he could revitalize the economy. Norquist is skeptical. “He builds buildings,” Norquist says. “You don’t import buildings and you don’t — where’s the insight that you get on international trade from building a building in New York?”

Norquist believes that the problems American businesses face is largely the fault of the nation’s uncompetitive tax structure, not foreign business. “Buying low-cost products from China benefits the American consumers,” he said. “It’s the fault of the American government, our tort law and our tax law, that make it difficult to compete worldwide. “

“That’s our problem, that we do to ourselves,” he continued. “And that we need to fix.”

Monique Hamm contributed to this report

  • Mune Shadowe

    As much as I detest the man tariffs are a Constitutional way of protecting U.S. business. If anything the ones who are criticizing him for this in my opinion should have their allegiance to this nation and its values questioned.

  • borntoraisehogs

    Pretend China sells the stuff we want at a the best price. Pretend that China doesn’t want all the stuff we make or because we don’t offer it at the best price, so we sell it else where. Now why does us paying more for Chinese products make sense?

  • kroyall

    A trade war with our largest creditor? Yeah, what a great idea.

  • rightwinghomosexual

    Grover Norquist is a lobbyist … granted a good one and one I agree with, but be that as it may, he is a lobbyist and *NOT* a business owner. Trump is a successful businessman and unlike the rich, elite, cocktail-swilling turds of the Republican Party (who are, in effect, liberals) men like Trump simply don’t pass the smell test and are not members of the club (like Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty and other weaklings). CPAC showed that only Paul and Trump were willing to speak openly and clearly to the membership. Trump is correct: TARIFF Chinese goods. TARIFF *every* Chinese good that comes through and you will see the billion dollar trade deficit dissappear overnight.

  • Sanjou

    Trump is right. A tariff will make imports too expensive, importing will become unprofitable. In order to make a profit all these companies need to do to avoid the high tariffs and expand their customer base is move their factories to the US. A sane country protects it’s wealth, sadly US trade policies have gone around the bend and onto the planet of ridiculous.

  • barryaz

    Hey Trump, let’s see if your really serious, why don’t you buy the U.N. building, give all the current occupants an eviction notice, and once they vacate, tear the building down.