President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Monday that the president would be open to forming a coalition to deal with China on trade disputes between Washington and Beijing.
“The president is amenable to that,” Kudlow told CNBC’s Jim Cramer when asked if he thought a potential coalition could be formed between the United States and other nations that do not agree with China’s trade practices.
“He’s not necessarily soliciting support yet, but he is amenable,” he continued. “We’ve had Japan come out, Europe, France, Germany, Canada. It is, I call it, a trade coalition of the willing. That’s my view. I don’t think the president has quite put it that way.”
Kudlow also said during the interview that he believes “the whole world knows” that China cannot continue with its current trading practices and that leaves him feeling like “an optimist about the outcome.”
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The budding trade war between the U.S. and China reached new heights last week, with both countries doubling down on tariffs meant to ward off future retaliation from the other.
President Trump first announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of American imports of Chinese electronics and appliances. China responded by proposing equivalent tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and automobiles. In response, Trump threatened to add an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs on the nation.
Trump on Sunday said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will always remain friends and that he believes China will “take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do”:
President Xi and I will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade. China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do. Taxes will become Reciprocal & a deal will be made on Intellectual Property. Great future for both countries!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
Despite Trump’s apparent willingness to open conversation on trade issues, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Monday said it would be impossible to negotiate under current conditions.
“Under the current circumstances, both sides even more cannot have talks on these issues,” Shuang said, according to Reuters. “The United States with one hand wields the threat of sanctions, and at the same times says they are willing to talk. I’m not sure who the United States is putting on this act for.”