US President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has finally provided a window into the current state of US-China trade talks, and the view is grim.
“I do not think [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] has any intention of following through on any of the discussions we’ve made and I think the president [Trump] is so dissatisfied with China on these so-called talks that he is keeping the pressure on and I support that,” Kudlow said in a televised interview on CNBC.
The former television commentator reiterated the administration’s assertion that China’s higher tariffs are partly to blame for the trade friction.
“Our average tariff is about [2.5%, while] China’s average tariff is about 14%.
“Here’s my solution, and the president agrees with this: Lower your barriers,” Kudlow said. “We will export like crazy.”
He added that he believes Xi himself is “holding the game up,” despite the fact that others in China would like to make a deal.
The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports, and threatened to add duties on an additional $200 billion in Chinese-made goods.
Prior to the tariffs going into effect, the US and China held a series of high-level talks in an attempt to avert an escalation in the trade conflict, but the US president was reportedly unsatisfied with the Chinese offer to purchase more energy and agriculture products.
Reports have since indicated that there are no official talks to defuse the conflict currently under way.
In addition to China’s tariffs on imported goods, the Trump administration has cited Beijing’s industrial policies as a reason for friction. China has asserted that it will not consider changing policies aimed at developing high-tech industries as part of trade negotiations.