The Trump administration continues to send mixed messages on trade negotiations with China, but the momentum is clearly leaning in the direction of making a deal.
After a similar interview earlier in the week, Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow essentially said on Friday that a deal was already crafted and that it represented a “revolution.”
When asked in a Fox Business Network interview how the negotiations in Washington went this week, Kudlow said that “[US Trade Representative] Bob Lighthizer really lit a fire under it.”
“The agreements made last week represent tremendous progress on IP theft on forced technology transfer, on ownership, on cyber interference and – maybe most importantly – on enforcement,” Kudlow said.
Lighthizer referred to possible enforcement arrangements in testimony before Congress on Wednesday, saying that any deal would require timetables for review at different levels of government.
“Some very smart, clever things put together by ambassador Lighthizer on enforcement,” Kudlow said Friday.
“What we have is vastly greater than just buying some soybeans. Trust me on this. It’s virtually a revolution in American-Chinese trade. It could be a historical breakthrough. And I’m going to play this one on the optimistic side.”
Kudlow added that, while the deal has largely been crafted, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will have the final say.
Plans for a summit in Mar-a-Lago have not been finalized, but are in the works, Kudlow said.