Larry Kudlow, who began his job this past Monday as President Donald Trump's National Economic Council chair, said Friday he hoped the administration could avoid imposing tariffs, explaining he was "not a tariff guy," the Washington Examiner reported.
"I'm not a tariff guy, I don't like to use tariffs. But sometimes you have to use tariffs to bring countries to their senses," Kudlow told reporters at the White House.
"What I'm saying is, as this process plays out, it may not be necessary," he continued. "But, it may also be. I've never taken tariffs off the board."
Trump announced in early March he would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, and his administration on Tuesday proposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. China has responded to the tariffs by announcing they would impose $50 billion in tariffs on U.S exports.
Kudlow, well-known for supporting free trade policies, has publicly supported the president since taking on his new position as the president's top economic adviser.
However, Kudlow said he hoped negotiations with China would lead to a positive resolve, since Trump has formed a personal relationship with China's President Xi Jinping. Still, he warned the administration was prepared to follow through on imposing the tariffs on Chinese imports.
"Trump is not just using tariffs as a negotiating card. He said that to me," Kudlow said.
Kudlow explained China's announcement about tariffs on U.S. exports was "highly unsatisfactory," adding, "Hopefully — I can guarantee nothing — but hopefully over that period of time ... there will be more satisfactory conversation and dialogue with the Chinese."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.