Director of the US National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow.
Director of the US National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow.

In his first week as US President Donald Trump’s new top economic adviser, while the US and China take aim with their trade weapons, Larry Kudlow was all smiles talking with the media.

This is “absolutely not a trade war,” Kudlow assured, speaking on Fox Business Network.

“Don’t overreact,” he added, regarding the White House’s proposed tariffs on China and Beijing’s retaliatory proposal. “We’ll see how this works out.

“I think that at the end of this whole process, at the end of the rainbow, there’s a pot of gold, and if you open up that pot you will see better economic growth, more trading going on, improved wages for both sides.”

Kudlow also said on Wednesday that tariffs were not a foregone conclusion.

“Yes, it’s possible,” he was quoted by CNBC as telling reporters when asked if it was possible the tariffs wouldn’t be implemented in the end.

“It’s part of the process. I mean, I would take the president seriously on this tariff issue,” he added. “You know, there are carrots and sticks in life, but he is ultimately a free trader. He’s said that to me, he’s said it publicly. So he wants to solve this with the least amount of pain.”

The Trump administration’s tariff proposals allow for a 60-day comment period. The stark contrast between Trump’s original announcement on steel and aluminum tariffs and the final product indicates that the administration is not averse to scaling back trade actions – as Kudlow has suggested.

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