Trump’s Top Economic Adviser: ‘The Principal Culprit Is China’

US president and Chinese leader Xi will hold an official bilateral meeting in Buenos Aires, says Kudlow


November 1, 2018 Updated: November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON—The White House’s top economic adviser said on Nov. 1 that if China does not come up with a satisfactory offer to meet U.S. trade demands, then President Donald Trump will continue to aggressively pursue his agenda.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, admitted that the trade war created questions and anxieties among business owners. However, he defended the president by calling him a “free-trader” who wants to get rid of all tariff and non-tariff barriers.

“But we are stuck with a lot of foreign unfair trading practices, which have been harmful to the U.S. workforce and the economy,” he said at a Washington Post event on small businesses.

“Frankly, the principal culprit is China,” he said. “I think only they can break the logjam.”

The Trump administration presented Chinese officials with a list of more than 140 demands during the first round of trade talks in May. Washington’s demands included opening up China further to U.S. investments and abolishing the country’s foreign-ownership caps. The administration has also demanded China end its aggressive policies such as cyber theft, forced joint ventures, and intellectual theft.

This whole list is very important to the administration, Kudlow said.

“If they don’t make a satisfactory offer, then the president will continue to aggressively pursue his agenda. And I think he’s right to do so,” he added.