Kudlow Says More China Tariffs "Not Set In Stone"

With just 26 minutes left in what has been by some measures the worst month for stocks since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Trump chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow appeared on CNBC to quiet investors anxieties about President Trump's plans for the next round of China tariffs, in what we can only imagine was an attempt to shield ramping equities from any last-minute complications, as stocks have exhibited a concerning pattern in recent weeks of falling during the last two hours of the trading day.

Kudlow

In response to reports from earlier this week that Trump is planning to expand tariffs to cover all Chinese goods entering the US by the end of the year if no agreement between China and the US has been reached before then, Kudlow cautioned that "nothing has been set in stone".

"Nothing is set in stone right now," Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday, ahead of potential talks between Trump and Chinese President Xi at the G-20 meeting next month.

"It is possible some good positive things could - I say could - come out of President Trump-President Xi talks. It's possible," he said.

Kudlow added that he believes Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires next month, but he added that nothing is set in stone on that front, either.

Ultimately, "policy talks" between Beijing and the West Wing will determine whether the White House will impose more tariffs. Could "good things" come out of the trade talks next month (assuming they do, in fact, happen?)

"It's possible," Kudlow said.

On Wednesday, Kudlow said "policy talks" will determine whether the White House imposes additional duties, "not an arbitrary timeline." The National Economic Council director added that he would not spell out the specific demands Trump wants China to meet in order for him to reduce tariffs. But he noted that the president has repeatedly pushed for Beijing to address alleged intellectual property theft and barriers to U.S. imports.

"It is possible some good positive things could - I say could - come out of President Trump-President Xi talks. It's possible," he said.

Ironically, despite Kudlow's attempt to goose stocks into the close, the Dow retreated in the last 30 minutes of trading, erasing some of its earlier gains, falling back below its 200DMA (though it still closed more than 241 points higher).

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