Tags: Trump Administration | larry kudlow | trump | china | trade | investment | rules

Kudlow: Trump Won't Ease Hard Trade Tactics on China

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 June 2018 02:51 PM

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump has no plans to soften his stance on trade relations with China.

The veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser instead characterized the decision to use a committee to determine when Chinese-owned companies should be halted from taking ownership in U.S. firms as simply a "modernization" that will protect U.S. technology.

“It’s going to be very comprehensive and very effective at protecting our technological family jewels,” Kudlow told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney.

Kudlow spoke hours after the White House opted to take a less confrontational approach toward Chinese investments in the U.S. as it pushes Congress to strengthen an existing review process rather than invoke a little-used law reserved for economic emergencies.

Trump wants Congress to pass legislation to bolster the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, so it can prevent companies from violating intellectual-property rights of American companies, two administration officials said Wednesday, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, Bloomberg reported.

The administration decided not to employ the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 that would give the president broad authority to curb Chinese investments in the country.

The move was seen as at least a mild retreat from leaks that the White House was planning to use authority beyond CIFIUS to stop China from acquiring U.S. technology, CNBC explained.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the leak "bad" and "probably just made up."

Kudlow reiterated that while Trump hopes to resolve trade differences with China, the president is by no means gogin softer in his negotiating approach.

"The idea of softer or harder is really beside the point," said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser. "That's really not the intent. It's not meant to be harder or softer," said Kudlow, who returned to work this week after a June 11 heart attack.

Meanwhile, Kudlow said Trump still plans to move forward on the plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum, but will welcome more talks with all trading partners.

“He is a free trader,” said Kudlow of Trump. “He would like to see no tariffs, no non-tariff barriers, no subsidies — and we are open for that discussion,” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.

Trump is taking a “wait and see” approach to trade relations, Kudlow explained.

“The president proffered the possibility of $200 billion more in tariffs— it’s not implemented… but he made that as a warning because we have not had a satisfactory response from China,” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.

Kudlow contends that China has more to lose than the U.S. “I believe that China is operating from a greater position of weakness than folks think,” he said. “We are operating from a greater position of economic strength.”

Trump's decision comes amid White House allegations that China engages in widespread theft of intellectual property. The inter-agency CFIUS panel, if bolstered by Congress, can address those concerns while maintaining an open investment climate, one of the administration officials told Bloomberg.

Trump’s choice shows that he is favoring a more measured strategy that requires coordination with Congress, rather than working solely through the executive branch. It’s also a win for proponents of conciliatory tone in negotiations with China such as Mnuchin, who told reporters on Wednesday that moves to strengthen CFIUS aren’t intended to single out Beijing.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump has no plans to soften his stance on trade relations with China.
larry kudlow, trump, china, trade, investment, rules
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2018-51-27
Wednesday, 27 June 2018 02:51 PM
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