President Donald Trump isn’’t “bluffing” in his warning about tariffs against China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday — insisting, however, the United States won’t “end up in a trade war."
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow the threat of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports is among “a number of tools at his disposal.”
“He's not bluffing,” Kudlow said, adding: “People are saying Trump, Trump, Trump. This is a problem caused by China, not a problem caused by President Trump and I would go so far as to say Trump is there to fix the problem.”
Kudlow said he’s always opposed “blanket tariffs,” but that when it comes to China, “I’ve always been a hard-liner.”
“Sometimes there is no substitution for putting tariffs into the discussion, into the process,” he said. “That is part of the quiver of arrows the president has.”
Kudlow also insisted he believes there is a "trade coalition of the willing" that is behind the US against against China: Japan, Europe, Australia, Canada.
"They have come to us,” he said.
"All I'm saying is my trade coalition of the willing will put the whole world behind the United States actions against China and this is going to have a big effect on China,” he added.
Kudlow also took a shot at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who’s expected to testify before Congress on the massive sharing of users’ data without their knowledge — and said Trump will be “intently watching.”
“I hope he comes to Congress wearing a nice business suit and shirt and tie so he will be taken more seriously,” Kudlow said of Zuckerberg. “I’m tired of that t-shirt stuff. He is running one of the largest corporations of the world.”
In a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kudlow suggested all was well in the White House between chief of staff John Kelly and the president, despite persistent reports of a rocky relationship.
"I have been on the job five days,” Kudlow said. “John Kelly has been great to me. He is in charge. He is operating on a much improved process. Every time the president and I talk and that subject comes up, the president has nothing but good things to say. I don't think this is a real story…. Trump tweeted on it and doesn't seem like he is pushing Kelly out.”
He then joked: “I have to do five more days to beat [former White House communications director] Anthony Scaramucci's record. I'm really working on it. I think I can do it."
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