Senior White House officials: Arizona has demonstrated strong economic growth over past year

Arizona’s economy is as strong as ever, according to senior White House officials.

“Arizona is growing faster than the rest of the nation,” said Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — according to the CEA — we estimated that it would increase wage and salary income in Arizona by 7.1 percent. Household median income in Arizona has grown substantially… Since President Trump took office, it’s up 7 percent.”

Hassett joined Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, on a conference call Thursday to share the latest details of Arizona’s economic growth since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

According to Kudlow, President Trump’s mission for Americans is one of prosperous business and economic success, and Kudlow is optimistic.

“He’s saying to Americans, especially the growing group of Americans who own their own small business, he’s saying, ‘Go out there and take a rip at the ball, and we will reward you for your success,’” Kudlow said. “That’s the American way.”

The national unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in decades at 3.7 percent, and the biggest wage-earners are not the wealthiest Americans but the middle- and lower-middle-level earners, Kudlow said.

“Hard hats; I love to think hard hats,” Kudlow said. “They’re the ones benefiting, because we have paid a lot of attention to helping manufacturers. And that includes trade deals. President Trump is a trade reformer. (He) just finished a trade deal with Canada and Mexico which benefits the American worker and their wages.”

The unemployment rate in Arizona has fallen 0.6 percentage points to a post-recession low of 4.6 percent since Trump was elected, Hassett said.

“Manufacturing right now is the second fastest-growing sector in Arizona, with total manufacturing employment up 8 percent since President Trump took office,” Hassett said. “Year-over-year manufacturing growth right now is the highest that we’ve seen in more than 20 years.”

Lower corporate tax rates and deregulation help foster growth in manufacturing and other industries in Arizona and nationwide, Kudlow said.

“We’re improving incentives to work, save, invest, grow and take risks,” Kudlow said. “That’s going to pan out for many years to come, as it always has in the past.”

American workers and entrepreneurs are largely responsible for the “economic boom” in the last two years, Kudlow said. The other reason for recent growth, according to Kudlow, is a “new psychology and attitude” set forth by the president.

“The Trump plan has completely reversed and reinvigorated economic growth incentives,” Kudlow said, referring to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which Trump signed into law in December. “By lowering tax rates, you keep more of what you earn, you keep more of what you invest, you keep more of what you risk and so you keep coming back to take advantage of that.”

There is currently a capital spending boom as well, and manufacturers are building factories all over the country — and in Arizona especially — at a very fast pace, Hassett said.

“Those factories that are being built right now and expanded right now are going to produce output for the second half of the year and next year and thereafter,” Hassett said. “And so the capital spending boom is going to give you an output boom once they turn the lights on in those factories.”

Kudlow and Hassett asked Arizonans on the call for patience and support, as it can take a while to see the results of new policies. The new trade deal in North America between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, also known as the USMCA, represents progress and opportunities for American businesses and workers, Kudlow said.

“We’ve made good progress,” Kudlow said. “We’ve helped the workforce, we’ve helped manufacturing, we’ve helped dairy farmers, we’ve helped financial services. That is a template for future deals.”

Graham Bosch

Add comment

Subscribe to the Dry Heat

Get updates on the most important news delivered right to your email. Fully personalized options. No SPAM. Unsubscribe anytime.

Sign Me Up!

Let’s Get Social

Chamber Business News wants to connect with you. Follow us, tweet, share, post, comment... however you get social is the perfect way to connect.