WASHINGTON — Cabinet secretaries and White House officials have predicted that President Trump’s initial trade agreement with China and his revised accord with Mexico and Canada — slated for final passage this week — will deliver twin jolts to the economy.
But outside forecasters, including some economists who have welcomed the China agreement in particular, have predicted much more modest gains — and, in some cases, no gains at all.
“We now have U.S.M.C.A.; that’s going to pass the Senate this week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “We have China Phase 1, there is a deal with Japan, a deal with Korea. These are all going to have significant positive effects on the 2020 economy.”
He and other officials have good reason to hope: Mr. Trump is up for re-election, and the economy appears to have grown by just over 2 percent in 2019, a dip from 2018 and well short of the administration’s forecasts of growth above 3 percent for the year.
The administration has yet to publish an official 2020 growth forecast. Mr. Mnuchin said on Sunday that he expected the economy to grow between 2.5 percent and 3 percent this year, though he cautioned that growth could fall to the lower end of that range because of troubles at the aerospace giant Boeing.
Other forecasts were less optimistic. The World Bank said last week that it expected the United States economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year. The first phase of the China trade deals and the U.S.M.C.A. are not