President Donald Trump's planned imposition of tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese goods is not to blame for fanning international concerns of an impending trade war with Beijing, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Wednesday on Fox Business.
"Blame China, not President Trump," Kudlow said. "Because they've been going on for many years. Trump is really the first president to fight back" against Beijing's unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on 106 American imports overnight in response to Trump's plans to place tariffs on Chinese goods, which caused the New York Stock Exchange to drop dramatically when it opened on Wednesday.
But Kudlow, the president's chief economic adviser, advised investors to take the events in stride.
"What you got is the early stages of a process that will include tariffs, comments on the tariffs, then ultimate decisions and negotiations," Kudlow said. "There's already backchannel talks going on. I understand the stock market's anxiety. I get that. But on the other hand, don't overreact. We'll see how it will all work out."
Kudlow said "the president is completely right to take these actions," but stressed that these are just the first proposals, and there won't actually be any concrete actions for several months.
Kudlow also said he expects that the United States will have huge backing from most of the world on the issue, because it is China that is operating outside the rules of the World Trade Organization.
"Trump is putting his cards on the table, he's standing up for this country," he said. "But he's also standing up for better world trade. President Trump regards himself as a free trader. I do too. But the path to free trade, real free trade, must include tremendous reforms and stopping these illegal and unfair trade practices."
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