U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue told Bloomberg Television today that lawmakers who support trade restrictions or stronger oversight of financial companies are ignoring what’s best for the economy in favor of short-term political gain. In particular, Donohue singled out Warren (D-Mass.), a vocal supporter of regulation, and Trump, who has floated the idea of a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.
Donohue said politicians who follow Warren’s route of demanding tighter regulations could damage the economy.
“They look at the polls, they figure out it plays well, they listen to Elizabeth Warren, who is, all of a sudden, the pope in terms of what’s acceptable in this religion,” he told Bloomberg. “And we’re making a fundamental mistake.”
He also criticized Trump’s position on trade, saying increased tariffs would only lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers and pressure on manufacturers trying to sell their wares in global markets.
“We’re going to become a less significant economic force, and when we become a less significant economic force, we’re going to be a less significant force in geopolitics,” Donohue said. “We don’t want that.”
Donohue told Bloomberg that while Warren’s and Trump’s tough positions on regulation and trade may be “a good political line,” government leaders have a responsibility to “talk about the issues as they really understand them” and not be swayed by polls.
“It is incumbent on people that take major positions in our government to familiarize themselves with the facts and get off the rhetoric,” he said.
What do Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump have in common? Well, according to one CEO, they’re both a threat to the U.S. economy.