- The Washington Times
Friday, March 6, 2020

The White House is considering tax relief for industries hit hard by the coronavirus, officials said Friday.

“We’re looking at different options,” President Trump said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed the administration is considering “timely and targeted” action to help companies and workers hurt by the outbreak, which could include airlines, travel companies and cruise lines.

“We want to have this targeted in a timely fashion in those areas that have been hit the worst,” Mr. Kudlow said on Fox Business. “We’re looking at things like people who may be stranded at home and will lose pay, we want to help them. Small businesses in certain areas, the geographical areas — or certain sectors, we may wish to help them with some cash flow.”

He added, “Perhaps on a large scale, some of the sectors might need some temporary assistance. I look at it as targeted and timely and I think that would be the most effective response, but we don’t want to act prematurely because today’s [employment] numbers show that the U.S. economy is in very good shape.”

The government reported Friday that employers added 273,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate at 3.5%.

The president was noncommittal on Friday about the idea of a stimulus spending bill.

“What we can do is do what we do,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re getting a lot of business from people staying [in the U.S.], which I’ve always liked anyway. I think financial markets will bounce back soon.”

He again called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, after the central bank issued an emergency cut of a half-percentage point this week.

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