President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, told Fox News on Sunday that they expected China to retaliate against the U.S.’ latest move to increase tariffs on some Chinese products from 10 to 25 percent. He added that the President is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at next month’s G20 economic summit in Osaka, Japan.
Kudlow also said that the Chinese had backtracked on their promises to address certain issues, defending the recent decision.
“The problem is two weeks ago in China, there was backtracking by the Chinese,” he said, adding that “the expected countermeasures have not yet materialized.”
“We’ll see what they come up with. So far, we haven’t heard on that basis,” Kudlow continued, also stressing that President Trump may decide to impose additional tariffs in a few months. “Call it a couple months. Call it three months. I don’t know. … That will take some time, and then of course the president is going to have to make the final decision on that.”
Last week, President Trump said that China would pay for most of the tariffs, but Kudlow contradicted the President Sunday, noting that “both sides will pay” and that although China will see its market diminish, Americans will suffer as well.
He made the comments in response to remarks by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who said that American importers are paying for the tariffs which “in effect is a tax increase.”
Kudlow pointed out that trade talks would continue, although he did not provide a timeline, saying instead that there was a “pretty good” likelihood of Trump and Xi meeting in Japan. The White House economic adviser further noted that any trade deal between the U.S. and China was preconditioned by Beijing halting practices including stealing American intellectual property and forced technology transfers.
“Things seem to be taking too long and we can’t accept any backtracking,” Kudlow said. “We don’t think the Chinese have come far enough. We will wait and see.”