Week Ahead In Politics


An economic turnaround of historic proportions. President Trump took a victory lap on Friday over the latest GDP numbers. The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter. Also on the economic front this past week, the president announced a tentative trade truce with the European Union. Joining us to talk about all of this is NPR’s national political correspondent, Mara Liasson. Good morning.


MONTAGNE: The president was pretty happy touting the state of the economy. How much credit does he really get for that? Because, of course, presidents don’t always totally control the economy.

LIASSON: No. Presidents don’t always control the economy. But the fact is that presidents get the blame when the economy goes bad, so they should be able to take the credit when the economy is good. 4.1 percent is a really good number. The economy was on an upward trajectory before Trump took office, but economists say this is good. The economy looks solid. The one concern is whether this can be sustained as Trump has promised. A lot of economists say this number is a blip because it was spiked upwards, boosted by foreign buyers rushing in to stock up on American goods before Trump’s tariffs took effect.

MONTAGNE: Well, speaking of tariffs, let’s talk about President Trump’s announcement with the European Union on trade.

LIASSON: We don’t know a lot of the details. But so far, what we understand is that both sides have agreed to put on hold further tariffs, like the 25 percent tariffs on European cars that Trump had threatened. This is something that Europe was really worried about, so that’s on hold. They’re also going to work toward lowering the tariffs they’ve already put on each other’s goods. They’re going to negotiate and hopefully get rid of those steel and aluminum tariffs and then all the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products that Europe put in place. And one of the most important parts of the deal for the president is that the EU said that…

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