The U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, marking the fastest economic expansion in nearly four years, according to a highly anticipated estimate released Friday by the Commerce Department.
President Trump touted the "amazing" growth during remarks at the White House shortly after the report's release, cheering a shrinking trade deficit and claiming the country is on track to hit the highest annual growth rate in over 13 years. President Trump said:
"We've accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions. Once again, we are the economic envy of the entire world."
Rep. Erik Paulsen, member of the Ways & Means Committee & Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson and Marie Harf to discuss GDP growth.
On his reaction to GDP growth: I mean look, America's economy is really taking off. When you get a 4%, above 4% pace, it's pretty amazing and for the first time ever in the history of the country we have more jobs available than we have people. (00:57)
On if tariffs can negatively affect this growth: I'm very much concerned about it. I think the president's wrong on his approach on this tariffs policy and I'm glad that yesterday the agreement with the EU takes a pause actually starts talking again aims for 0% tariffs. (1:43)
On if there is anything tangible Congress can do to stop tariffs: Well, the tangible thing that can be done is clawing back or pulling back the authority that has been give more to the executives over the last several decades on trade because you don't want 535 members of Congress going in different directions on trade policy and trade battles those are always difficult votes, but in the end it's always been premised that after you use your constitutional authority in Congress to set up trade promotion authority and make sure the executive branch reports back to Congress. Now we're seeing the executive use those to the detriment, you know saying national security is the reason why we have to impose tariffs on our allies. (5:05)
On his argument to Clinton voters that he will hold Trump administration accountable: The case I'm making is very similar to what I've done in the past because I'm in a district that also voted for President Obama in twice. So, it's not a Democrat district but it is a competitive district and people in Minnesota want to know that they're voting for the person not the party and so it's one of the reason I work really well with my colleagues. You know the medical device tax repeal got broad bipartisan support. And what I do is I emphasize look when the President is wrong on tariffs, on immigration, on Russia I speak out and I'm not afraid to do so. (6:59)
On what Congress is doing on immigration policy: We have to keep working on this and the reason that I signed that discharge petition, at the objection of my leadership, is that I think there is a bipartisan majority that would support many of these initiatives. (10:08)