Wall Street

Former Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein on Trump's tariffs: 'I don't think he's wrong here'

Key Points
  • Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein agrees with President Trump's stance on tariffs in the ongoing trade war with China, Politico reported Thursday.
  • "Sometimes you engage in behavior that's bad for you because you can't bring the other side to a reasonable conclusion...until you establish who has more at stake," Blankfein told Politico.
Lloyd Blankfein, former chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein agrees with President Donald Trump's tough stance on tariffs in the ongoing trade war with China, Politico reported Thursday.

"I don't think he's wrong here," said Blankfein to the publication.

As a surprise to some, Blankfein defended Trump's actions with China and rebuked television pundits for "missing the point" on the president's tariffs.

"Of course it's bad for everybody," the former Goldman CEO told Politico. "Sometimes you engage in behavior that's bad for you because you can't bring the other side to a reasonable conclusion...until you establish who has more at stake."

Investors are bracing for the possibility of more tariffs as the trade war between the United States and China has escalated since the beginning of May. Last week, Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports. Trump also threatened to put new tariffs on an additional round of goods.

"Do I think this is a negotiating tactic? Yes. Do I think it could backfire on us? Yes. But if we don't do anything, this will just go on for a lot longer," he said.

On Tuesday, Blankfein tweeted that tariffs aren't a bad idea and will hurt China in the long term. "Tariffs might be an effective negotiating tool," he said in the tweet.

Blankfein went on to say that ultimately China bears the cost of tariffs. The levies may cause U.S. buyers to switch their purchases to local or non-Chinese companies, which will cause Chinese firms to lose revenues, he said.

— Read the full story from Politico here.