Kudlow: US Tariffs Are "Not A Bluff", China's Response Is "Highly Unsatisfactory"

Echoing comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made during an early-afternoon interview on CNBC, National Economic Council head Larry Kudlow told a group of reporters at the White House Friday that China's response to the first round of US tariffs announced was "highly unsatisfactory" and that, while he hopes the trade dispute doesn't result in tariffs, that outcome remains a possibility.

That is in sharp contrast to Kudlow's attempt on Wednesday to assuage the fears of nervous investors by promising them that the US will likely get a deal with China to avert the trade barriers threatened by both sides.

Still, a solution to the US-China trade spat could come within three months - but the Trump administration's saber-rattling over trade barriers "is not a bluff". And while the US isn't currently in a trade war with China - any foreign policy "could go awry."

Kudlow's about-face notably comes as the White House has put its foot down on Friday and warned investors to expect some "some fluctuations" in the stock market as the trade dispute plays out.

He also raised the possibility that the US could provide a "list of suggestions" to China, per the Hill.

"The U.S. may provide a list of suggestions to China," White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told a group of reporters at the White House, adding that resolving the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing is "eminently doable."

These latest comments come after Kudlow gave a contentious interview with Bloomberg earlier Friday where he said that serious talks to avert a trade crisis "have not really begun yet" while clarifying that Trump had discussed the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that other senior administration officials had discussed trade policy with their Chinese counterparts.

"Perhaps there will be some fruitful negotiations," he said. "But I would say they have been unsatisfactory, so we will see". The US is considering a second round of tariffs, but nothing has been decided yet.

But regardless of the outcome, Kudlow has insisted that "China is the problem" and that "President Trump is the solution."

However, investors would have good reason to ignore Kudlow's comments, as the advisor admitted that he first found out "last night" about Trump's threat to slap tariffs on $100 billion in Chinese assets. Those followed China's announcement of tariffs on $50 billion of US goods, including, crucially, the US soybeans, which China relies on to feed its livestock.

"This is not a trade war," Kudlow said Friday. "This process, it may include tariffs at the end of the day. It may also not. It may be solved by negotiation," according to Politico.

After Bloomberg hammered Kudlow about the White House's "communication problem," Kudlow's admission that he was out of the loop regarding the latest round of tariffs prompted some twitter users to question whether Kudlow has as much influence with the president as the market believes...




FireBrander ne-tiger Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:07 Permalink

"blowing and kidding themselves"

Robert Reich

"If grown-ups were in charge...blah, blah, blah, blah...you don't go into [trade] negotiations from a position you may have to back down from".

Oh Robert...

1. "Grown-ups", LIKE YOU, WERE in charge for 24 years and they created this mess! "Grown-ups" reshaped the American economy from one where a solid middle class job was building toasters in a factory to one where "would you like fries with that", even at $15hr, won't pay the rent! So FU and all the rest of your fellow "Grown-ups".

2."you don't go into negotiations from a position you may have to back down from"
WTF Robert? Really, so you, aka a "Grown-up", go into negotiations from a position that you will not back down from; that's "negotiation"? Or do you go in with no position and come out with whatever the other side gives you out of the goodness of their heart? Judging by the results of "Grown-up" negotiations over the last 24 years, the latter looks like your method of operation.

In reply to by ne-tiger

FireBrander directaction Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:30 Permalink

This is a long overdue offensive on the part of the USA in a 30 year old trade war...and as a bonus...reduced trade with China will kick California square in the teeth.

The imports will stop flowing into California while manufacturing in the USA ramps up to meet demand...but those factories won't be built in California! Trump is going, at least, bring California to it's knees..and maybe China too.

In reply to by directaction

Creative_Destruct LightBeamCowboy Fri, 04/06/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

Reich...."you don't go into [trade] negotiations from a position you may have to back down from".

Does this IYI even know what "negotiation" means????

FYI Mr. IYI: you "back down" as a negotiation OFFER to get to the real less extreme position that's your target. If you go in with a soft position, you'll get rolled.

This dumb fuck was head of the Dept of Labor... unfortunately he's probably a typical Deep Stater. Is it any wonder things are such a mess????

In reply to by LightBeamCowboy

Endgame Napoleon FireBrander Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:43 Permalink

Back in the neoliberal Clinton days, Robert’s position was always that wages can keep going down, as we import endless womb-productive & welfare-consuming immigrants from south of the border while exporting jobs to China. The neoliberal solution was ever more monthly welfare to reward part-time work for the womb productive citizens and immigrants who stay below the earned-income limits for various monthly welfare programs and EITC refundable child tax credits up to $6,431. Never fear when bleeding jobs; those jobs are replaced by $10-per-hour pharmacy tech and financial services jobs. Call centers took up the slack, too, for the womb-productive mommas with unearned income from spouses or government until they started outsourcing that work to India. 

In reply to by FireBrander

Endgame Napoleon FireBrander Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:53 Permalink

People have out-of-control expectations, too, like every professional couple with kids should have a half-a-million to a million-dollar house, every kid in a private school and a vacation to Europe every two months, described as hard work.

This is not gained by taking risks in business and employing people, as in past generations, but just by dominating two high-paying jobs per household that could support four independent households. The safer the jobs, the better.

There is a lot of excessive stuff at the bottom as well, as the welfare pie gets ever more elaborate for the womb productive.

I can see why people do not feel safe putting their kids in some of these public schools, but most of them do not want to make any trade offs, like say a less fashionable home for good schools.

Across the board, the neighborhoods would be safer if we had a bigger middle class, and they, no less than I, as a single, childless woman, need a selection of affordable housing in safe neighborhoods.  

In reply to by FireBrander

curbjob Looney Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

Kudlow; face caked in Bolivian marching powder and his finger on the control + P button;

"you wanna play rough ? Hokay say hello to my liddle friend"

( the shithouse going up in flames in the background)

In reply to by Looney

LawsofPhysics TalkToLind Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

The Chinese have been printing far more/faster than the fed....

far more subsidation and crap production than here.

I have done business in both countries and the problem these people face is the same problem people all over the world face. The global oligarchs want more for themselves and their families and less for you and yours.

Good to see divide and conquer still works on the weak minded peasants of the world.

In reply to by TalkToLind