Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget, said Wednesday that President Donald Trump deserves more credit for his work on brokering trade deals.
"I wish the president would get more credit for what he's done and have some credibility from people who say, look this is our trade policy," Mulvaney said at the CB Insights Future of Fintech conference in New York. "Is it going to be rough for a while? Sure. But we're trying to get people to change their policy, to change their behavior."
Mulvaney said he and other advisers in the Oval Office, including National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, don't always agree with the president's stance on trade. They do, however, offer him their brightest ideas to pull from and hope he identifies the best.
"We don't get China to change its behavior on something like technology transfer by simply asking politely," Mulvaney said. "You have to encourage people to change their behavior and sometimes that gets a little rough."
Mulvaney, who said he sometimes self-identifies as a "right-wing nutjob," was adamant in championing Trump's dedication to boosting the U.S. economy, regardless of the growing pains it might endure.
"All the policies you've heard us talk about have been good for the American economy. It's what the president ran on and it's what the president wants to accomplish," Mulvaney said.
When faced with the notion that trade deals could someday have negative repercussions, not the least of which being China's decision to stop buying U.S. Treasury notes, Mulvaney was unfazed.
"That one doesn't bother us so much," Mulvaney said.
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