Trade talks will resume with China later this month, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is "getting close" to reaching a trade deal with Mexico, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Thursday.
However, he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the Chinese government should not "underestimate President Donald Trump's toughness and willingness," as the president will continue his "battle to eliminate tariffs and nontariff barriers and quotas, to stop the theft of intellectual property, and stop the forced transfer of technology."
Kudlow said he'll likely be involved when a Chinese delegation visits the United States later this month, but more likely, David Malpass, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, will act as lead.
Trump has targeted China with tariffs on $50 billion in goods, but Kudlow said talks can often prove more effective than expected.
When it comes to Mexico, Kudlow also told CNBC that he did not want to give away detailed secrets, but Lighthizer is "a little more optimistic than I've seen him in many moons."
Kudlow also discussed the "strong dollar," saying it is a "sign of confidence" the world has in the United States.
"There's a lot of unrest around the world. Money is flowing into the USA," Kudlow said. "A strong dollar holds down commodity prices, gasoline prices are slipping, oil prices are slipping. In macroeconomic terms, it's sending a positive story of global confidence."
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