White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow blast China’s lack of cooperation in the U.S. attempt to forge a trade deal.
"They are unfair traders. They are illegal traders. They have stolen our intellectual property," Kudlow said at the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday and simulcast by CNBC on YouTube.
"China has not responded positively to any of our asks," the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser said in repeating a contention he makes in nearly every media appearance.
President Donald Trump has claimed that China’s rise as an exporting powerhouse has hurt U.S. workers and since taking office he has ordered tariffs on more than $200 billion in Chinese imports, Reuters explained.
China’s multi-decade investment boom has helped make it the world’s factory and fueled a trade surplus in goods with the United States of $390 billion in the 12 months through June.
Some China experts have speculated that Beijing could use yuan devaluation as a weapon in a broader trade war with the United States.
"America has the greatest technology in the world; it is the backbone of our economy," he said. "China can't seem to do that, so they steal it. We can't allow that," said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser..
"We are in a boom, and they know it," said Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council that advises Trump.
"We have to defend America's interests, we have to defend American workers and farmers," said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.
"We have used tariffs as part of [President Donald Trump's] negotiating strategy and he won't let go of his criticism that China must change," Kudlow said.
Kudlow reportedly said Wednesday evening that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet next month to discuss trade, but again also stated Beijing’s trade practices make them an unreliable negotiating partner.
Kudlow, a longtime proponent of free trade, said that he believes that Xi doesn’t want a deal, and suggested that further escalation in the trade war was a likely outcome, The Washington Examiner reported.
“If they’re not going to move, we will take additional actions as the president has said,” Kudlow said at a dinner hosted by the conservative American Spectator magazine on Capitol Hill, the Examiner reported.
“You can’t operate in good faith knowing that you have to protect your own country with a country that steals your intellectual property rights – you can’t do that,” Kudlow said.
To be sure, while China's economy is showing signs of weakness, the U.S. economy continues to soar.
Manufacturers in the northeast U.S. are largely shrugging off global trade disputes and plan to boost investments next year thanks to tax cuts, according to a Federal Reserve survey.
More than 64 percent of business respondents in the Philadelphia Fed district said tariff and trade policies wouldn’t impact their investment plans next year.
About 19 percent said the duties would cause them to modestly or significantly decrease capital expenditures in 2019, according to the bank’s October manufacturing business outlook survey published Thursday.
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