White House National Economic Council Larry Kudlow expressed optimism on Monday ahead of another round of trade talks with China.
“The Chinese seem to be a little more cooperative recently, they’ve been in the market buying some agriculture, we like that,” he said. “The statements coming out of Beijing have been a little more positive, it seems like the mood music has improved.”
Kudlow spoke Monday to reporters at the White House.
He said that structural issues such as intellectual property theft forced transfers of technology, economic espionage, and the newly leveled trade tariffs would need to be solved.
Kudlow described the talks as a “new start” for progress on a deal with China.
He confirmed that talks between Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He would continue on Thursday, but was hesitant to provide a conclusive update.
“I hate to predict these things because we don’t know yet,” Kudlow said.
He said that the tariffs had a “minimal effect” on the American economy, with most of the economic burden falling on China.
Kudlow argued that the manufacturing slowdown was partially a result of General Motors strikes, now in their fourth week, and the Boeing slowdown, and he pointed out that exports to Europe and Germany were also down.
“The rest of the world is in recession, that’s hurting us,” he said.