Economist: Trump is 'playing with fire' on trade

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Party People is a new podcast from CNN where a pair of conservative CNN contributors talk to influential voices about the future of conservatism and the Republican party.

(CNN)The founder of the conservative think tank Club for Growth and an economist at the Heritage Foundation said President Donald Trump is taking a huge risk when it comes to trade.

"On trade, I think he's playing with fire here," CNN Economic Analyst Stephen Moore told hosts Kevin Madden and Mary Katharine Ham on CNN's Party People podcast. "And I think the idea of a tariff against Mexico is a terrible idea. I think it would hurt Mexico a lot, and I think it would hurt American consumers as well. We don't need a trade war with Mexico."
The White House has floated the idea of imposing a 20% tax on imports from Mexico, in order to pay for Trump's proposed southern border wall. However, the White House says Trump is weighing other options.
Moore also said he views Trump's trade policy with China differently.
    UNITED STATES - AUGUST 31: Stephen Moore of The Heritage Foundation is interviewed by CQ in his Washington office, August 31, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
    "I kind of approve of some of the things he's doing on China," he said. "I think he views China as an adversary, and I've come to the conclusion that they are a bit of an adversary militarily, and economically. They're playing a different game economically. They don't play by the rules. They do cheat, they do steal, and I think taking a tougher stance with China is overdue."
    Moore also recommended conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly's book on Harry Truman's presidency, "Killing the Rising Sun" to the President and listeners.
    "I think people like Trump can learn from Harry Truman," Moore said. "He grew in office in an amazing way. And I think the question we all have about Donald Trump, regardless of what our ideology is 'can he grow into this office?"
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