Trump tariffs are 'dark clouds' for economy, says retail chief

A top representative for the retail industry is warning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE’s trade war with key U.S. allies could have serious repercussions for the economy.

David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, said retailers have flourished under the GOP’s tax overhaul. But he’s worried Trump’s tariffs now threaten to undermine those benefits.

“Tax reform has been very good for retail. … Retailers are seeing top-line sales growth and bottom-line results because of tax reform,” French told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

“We’re concerned, though, that there are dark clouds on the horizon because of the tariffs and potential trade war,” French added, pointing to Trump’s threat of more tariffs.

The president is considering adding more tariffs to the already $34 billion worth of Chinese products. French worries that could raise the costs of goods for consumers and, more importantly, put jobs at stake.

An estimated 40 million Americans rely on trade for their jobs, said French.

The U.S. and China, meanwhile, are starting trade negotiations once again this week to try and deescalate the situation.

Trump though told Reuters that he doesn’t "anticipate much" from the meeting with Chinese officials in Washington, and the administration plans to continue to move forward on Thursday with new tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods.

— Tess Bonn