White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow confirmed that the US and China will resume trade talks later this month, but warned that US President Donald Trump has a strong determination to make sure that the US gets a good deal.
Kudlow serves as the director of the National Economic Council and is one of Trump’s top advisors. His office will likely be involved when Chinese delegation touches down in the US later in the month to hold trade discussions. However, he said during an interview that David Malpass, who is the undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, will act as the lead.
“The Chinese government, in its totality, must not underestimate President Trump’s toughness and willingness to continue this battle to eliminate tariffs and nontariff barriers and quotas, to stop the theft of intellectual property and to stop the forced transfer of technology,” said Kuldow during an interview. “Those are the asks that we’ve been making now for quite some time.”
His statements came in the midst of market optimism that the two sides, which also happened to be the world’s two largest economies, will be able to swerve away from a trade war, which others fear could spill over worldwide and dampen economic growth the US has experienced during the Trump administration.
The president has pledged to renegotiate global trade agreements that have worked against the US. He has also targeted China specifically for the tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods so far.
Kudlow was cautious in his optimism about the upcoming discussions in spite of his hopes for the economy.
“Let’s just see what happens,” said Kudlow. “Sometimes talks can produce better outcomes than expected.”
While Kudlow was talking, Wall Street prepared for a rally after several volatile days of trading. Stocks surged at Thursday’s opening after the headlines that the two sides were attempting to resolve the trade spat again.
Among the US president’s main grievances are lopsided tariffs that make China far less hospitable for US goods than Chinese goods are in the US. The administration has specifically targeted the elimination of intellectual property theft as the main goal in the talks.
“If they open up their markets, whether you’re talking about industry or financial services or technology, USA will talk through the increase export sales to China by phenomenal rates,” said Kudlow. “We’re the most competitive economy in the world because of the unexpected boom as the result of new policies.”
Kudlow also stated that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is “getting close” to closing trade agreement with Mexico. He also said the strong dollar is a “sign of confidence” in the United States.
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