President Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that he expected China to retaliate against the administration’s planned tariff hike.
“I think I do, but it’s interesting, the expected countermeasures haven’t yet materialized,” Kudlow told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I reckon they will. We’ll see what they come up with. So far we haven’t heard on that basis.”
Talks with the Chinese are in limbo as the Chinese delegation left D.C. without an inked trade deal earlier this week. Kudlow said new talks haven’t been scheduled yet, but the Chinese have invited Amb. Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, to Beijing.
He added that it’s likely Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at next month’s G20 in Japan.
Last Sunday, Trump used Twitter to announce the tariff spike.
“For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billions Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday,” Trump wrote. “325 Billion Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China, but remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%.”
Trump complained that the trade talks with China were moving too slowly, as the country tried to renegotiate portions of the deal.
This Sunday, Kudlow said the U.S. had started the process to increase these tariffs, but the full implementation could take months.
“We will have announcements, we will have hearings, we will have public comments,” Kudlow explained. “It could be a couple of months thereabouts.”
While Wallace pointed out that tariffs get passed along to the U.S. consumer, Kudlow argued that China will be hurt too thanks to the “diminishing export market.”
“Both sides will suffer on this,” he said.
But he argued that it was worth it.
“You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. We’ve had unfair trading practices all these years. And so in my judgment, the economic consequences are so small, but the possible improvement in trade and exports and open markets to the United States, this is worthwhile doing,” he said.