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Trade back-and-forth creating uncertainty: CTA President Shapiro

Blair Shiff

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told FOX Business the markets should have more certainty now that President Trump has delayed the China tariffs.

"What the markets now have is total certainty about how the scenario is going to unfold in the next three to six months," Navarro said. "What we have here is, the tariffs are moving forward ... we are continuing to negotiate with the Chinese and there will be another phone call within two weeks."

Navarro insisted that all businesses affected by the tariffs now know how their businesses may be impacted.

However, Consumer Tech Association (CTA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro disagreed with Navarro, saying he's "alone in his view on how tariffs are beneficial."

"There's no such thing as a trade war that's helpful," Shapiro told FOX Business on "Cavuto: Coast To Coast."

"Look, the fact is the president listened. He realized that he was wrong about the fact that tariffs are actually taxes on consumers, and he's acknowledged that it's going to affect the holiday season, but this is not a great big gift to anybody."

Shapiro said this back-and-forth is creating business uncertainty and may keep consumers out of retail due to the overall confusion.

"There is great concern in our industry and in other industries about where this is heading," he said.

"It's not getting better every day, obviously the stock market is responding today to the reality rather than the press releases."

The CTA CEO believes the reality is there are a lot of tariffs and some are going into effect almost immediately and the rest will go into effect in December.

"Those are still tariffs, and they're taxes and they're harmful, and they're not good policy," Shapiro said.

The small and big businesses, Shapiro said, are being hurt due to these tariffs.

"There is no such thing as business certainty today," Shapiro said.

"And while we recognize and agree that China is a serious issue and President Trump is right to confront them, there are much better ways to do it."

Shapiro suggested other ideas like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the World Trade Organization or teaming up with bilateral partners to cut trade deals as possibly better ideas.

"We are going on the wrong path with these tariffs, and they're hurting everyone," Shapiro said. "And I'm glad that President Trump and even Peter Navarro recognizing they hurt consumers. They hurt retailers. They hurt businesses and they will affect the holiday season."

Shapiro fears America is heading toward a Trump recession with these tariffs and going into a difficult-to-win trade war. He stood by the idea that tariffs will affect consumers.

"Obviously, consumer prices will be going up," Shapiro said. "They have to ... but also, the business uncertainty and the consumer uncertainty. They're going to be confused."

Shapiro thinks consumers will freeze in that confusion without a quick resolution to this ongoing trade war.

"Stop ignoring the fact that consumers will be paying these as will the American businesses and American workers," Shapiro said. "Some of our companies have stopped hiring, they're laying off, this has serious consequences for a lot of our economy and the global economy, which is being impacted because no one can see their way out of this escalating trade war."


Shapiro said there doesn't seem to be any clear way out of this with the rest of the tariffs looming over businesses, even if they are delayed until December.

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