Tags: Trump Administration | larry kudlow | trump | blame | trade

Kudlow: 'Don't Blame Trump' for Trade Conflicts


By    |   Wednesday, 06 June 2018 04:31 PM

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump isn’t at fault for any trade tensions around the world.

"Don't blame Trump. Blame the nations that have broken away" from fair trade practices, Kudlow told reporters at a White House press conference.

The global trade system "is a mess. It is broken and President Trump is trying to fix it. That's the key point," said Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council.

Kudlow said Trump's accomplishments are "contributing to our economic growth" and are evident in countless economic reports, such as small-business confidence, consumer sentiment and job growth.

The National Economic Council Director said Trump is "the strongest trade reformer of the past 20 years," and is striving not only to protect American interests but to open up avenues of growth for American business and workers.

The veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser also once again called trade tensions shadowing the G-7 conference beginning Friday “a family quarrel” and said Trump will meet one-on-one with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron at the summit.

Trump is expected to attend the Group of Seven summit on Friday and Saturday with the leaders of the world’s largest economies before flying to Singapore for a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

Finance ministers from the six other nations participating in the summit issued a rare public rebuke during a preliminary meeting last week, saying they would retaliate against Trump’s decision to impose duties on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

The criticism has been particularly acute from the summit’s host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said Sunday the tariffs were “insulting” to the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and Canada.

“The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable,” Trudeau said in an interview with NBC News.

Kudlow rejected criticism of Trump and declined to describe the dispute as a “trade war.”

Further complicating the U.S. relationship with Canada is the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, with both leaders saying they are willing to walk away from the pact if talks fail to produce a revised agreement to their liking. Trump has recently said he’d be interested in negotiating separate bilateral trade deals with Mexico and Canada instead of updating Nafta.

Some White House officials are discussing additional economic penalties in response to the $13 billion in retaliatory tariffs Trudeau has promised, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Administration officials are also weighing whether to withhold Trump’s signature from the customary joint agreement issued at the end of the G-7 summit.

Kudlow also touted the overall economic strength.

"The United States now has the fastest growing economy in the world, according to the OECD or at least the fastest growing economy among the industrialized nations," said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.

"The United States economy is growing. We are pushing through 3 percent," Kudlow said.

"Some said it couldn't be done. It is being done and we are proud of it and I think President Trump's policies of lower taxes and major regulatory rollback are a key part of this issue," said Kudlow.

“We haven't seen such low unemployment in many many decades for all categories. The policies are working. And my great hope is that our friends at the G7 will take notice of these policies and work with us to extend and expand them so we can have a prosperous U.S. and world economy.”

Kudlow denied another element of the Washington Post report: that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had advocated a softer approach toward Canada, including an exemption from the metals tariffs.

The story was "patently false" and inaccurately depicted a meeting in which Mnuchin didn’t even speak, said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.

For his part, the president has taken to Twitter to tout his administration's economic accomplishments.

"The U.S. has an increased economic value of more than 7 Trillion Dollars since the Election. May be the best economy in the history of our country. Record Jobs numbers. Nice!" he wrote.

(Newsmax wire services Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report).

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump isn’t at fault for any trade tensions around the world.
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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 04:31 PM
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