Larry Kudlow, economic adviser to President Donald Trump, defended his boss's approach to trade and hinted that more tax changes could be coming during an appearance at a CNBC investor conference Wednesday.
Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, placed blame Wednesday for recent trade tensions between the USA and China directly at the feet of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The administration has also released a list of 10% tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, which could take effect as early as next month.
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The current trade tensions between the United States and China flared up in March, when Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US.
Kudlow said China could resolve the dispute "this afternoon" by simply cutting tariffs, eliminating non-tariff barriers, and stopping the practice of stealing U.S. technology through forced transfers.
"The president [Trump], is so dissatisfied with China on these so called talks, that he is keeping the pressure on and I support that". Europe, Canada, even our sources in China say that even the Chinese government knows that they are doing is wrong. China's Xi has the power to stop the tit for tat trade war, but is not willing to do so. The tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect on July 6, and China responded with equal force later that day.
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The US official said China should have reacted to the tariffs with a package of reforms to be implemented over the next few years. Yet Trump soon intensified his tariff threats anyway. "They've received conflicting messages depending on who they speak with".
"President Trump inherited this mess", Kudlow said. "We are waiting for him (Xi)".
Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's visit will discuss vehicle tariffs, which he cited as "the big one" among U.S. -EU trade irritants. "I do not think President Xi, at the moment, has any intention of following through on the discussions we made". He added that the ball is in President Xi's court.
Kudlow, a longtime advocate for a free market, said that while he generally opposes tariffs, something needed to be done about global trade.
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These included cutting tariff and non-tariff barriers to imports, ending the "theft" of intellectual property and allowing full foreign ownership of companies operating in China, Kudlow said.