Kevin Hassett
CNN  — 

Kevin Hassett, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers – a White House panel that provides President Donald Trump with economic advice – told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he “can’t confirm or deny” that the council determined Trump’s tariffs on a variety of goods would hurt the US economy.

“I can’t confirm or deny that report,” Hassett said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “The New York Times report was about a report that may or may not exist. … I can’t comment on a report that does or does not exist.”

The New York Times reported June 7 that council analysis “concluded that Mr. Trump’s tariffs will hurt economic growth in the United States, according to several people familiar with the research.”

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Hassett said his advice must remain confidential to maintain its integrity.

“My job at CEA is to advise the President, and that advice, for it to be truthful, needs to be protected by executive privilege, as it is,” he said. “My job at the CEA is to be the person who collects the consensus of the economics profession and shares it with people.”

Companies affected by the tariffs and potential tariffs say the tariffs will hurt their performance.

Steel companies have said the steel tariffs are hurting their businesses and may cost them jobs.

General Motors warned that other proposed tariffs could force it to cut jobs and raise the prices of cars, potentially by thousands of dollars.

Hassett claimed economists agree that if tariffs globally were set at around pre-tariff US levels – which he said is Trump’s ultimate goal – global gross domestic product would increase.