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Kudlow: 'Pretty Sizable Difference' Before China Trade Deal

Kudlow: 'Pretty Sizable Difference' Before China Trade Deal

By    |   Thursday, 07 February 2019 11:47 AM

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned Thursday any trade deal between China and the U.S. still has a long way to go.

“The president has indicated that he’s optimistic with respect to a potential trade deal,” Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on Fox Business. “But we’ve got a pretty sizable distance to go here,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser said.

“To quote a colleague of mine – ‘we have miles to go before we sleep,’” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.

Kudlow characterized previous talks involving the three leaders as having “a good vibe to them.”

“We covered a tremendous amount of ground and all the major issues,” he said. “All of those things are on the table and discussed in some detail. I think those conversations are going to continue,” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.

Kudlow's comments came about 24 hours after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he and other U.S. officials will travel to Beijing next week for trade talks, aiming to clinch a deal to avert a March 2 increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Mnuchin said Wednesday in an interview with CNBC that the talks he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer led in Washington last week with China’s Vice Premier Liu He were “very productive.”

“Ambassador Lighthizer and myself and a large team are on our way to Beijing next week. We are committed to continue these talks,” Mnuchin said. “We’re putting in an enormous amount of effort to try to hit this deadline and get a deal. So that’s our objective.”

President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday that any new trade deal with China “must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs.”

Trump has vowed to increase U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent currently if the two sides cannot reach a deal by 12:01 a.m. (0501 GMT) on March 2.

The two sides remain far apart on addressing U.S. demands that China make deep structural changes to its trade and economic policies and shrink the U.S. goods trade deficit. The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported the U.S. goods trade deficit with China reached $382 billion through the first 11 months of 2018, eclipsing the $375 billion gap during all of 2017, though the deficit narrowed for the month of November from October.

Trump’s negotiators want Beijing to more strenuously enforce American intellectual property rights, stop cyber-hacking of trade secrets, curb industrial subsidies and end policies that coerce U.S. companies to turn over technology to Chinese competitors as a price of doing business in China’s vast market.

A critical part of any deal, they say, would be a mechanism to verify and enforce China’s follow-through on any commitments it makes.

Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned Thursday any trade deal between China and the U.S. still has a long way to go.
kudlow, china, trade, deal
Thursday, 07 February 2019 11:47 AM
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