Kudlow Parries On Tariffs: ‘Dont Blame Trump, Blame China’

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow defended President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on China for stealing U.S. intellectual property in a Monday morning interview on CNBC.

Kudlow, a former CNBC star himself, blasted Chinese trade practices saying, “The whole world knows that China cannot continue to behave illegally and unfairly,” adding “China will listen to reason and I think ours is the reasonable view” and imploring hosts to “please don’t blame Tump, blame China.”

The new NEC director has spoken publicly several times in recent days after Trump’s tariff threats have set the market in turmoil, with wild swings of several hundred points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Kudlow attempted to calm markets by continually noting that Trump’s proposed tariffs are not even in effect yet and wont be for some months, leaving ample time for negotiations between Beijing and Washington.

“We can’t let them steal our work…I don’t like to use tariffs, but sometimes you have to use tariffs,” Kudlow explained in a roundtable with reporters Friday. He noted a similar theme Monday saying “we’ve got to ask China and take whatever actions he deems necessary to change their ways,” adding that “they are putting up trade barriers closing markets…They’re forcing technology transfers and they’re stealing intellectual property.”

Trump originally announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in March, saying they were needed to protect U.S. intellectual property. That announcement drew a response from China that it would reciprocate.

Trump then retaliated to this retaliation saying “I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.”