Larry Kudlow: China deal ‘close’ as Beijing cuts some tariffs

by Editorial Team

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that President Trump likes where trade talks with China are going and a deal is “close,” but that a Dec. 15 deadline remains in place for a new round of US tariffs to kick in.

“There’s no arbitrary deadline here … but that fact remains December 15 is a very important date with respect to a no-go or go on tariffs,” he told CNBC.

“It’s going to be totally up to POTUS. But December 15th is an important date.”

Completion of a phase-one deal between the world’s two biggest economies had been initially expected in November, ahead of a mid-December round of US tariffs covering about $156 billion of Chinese imports.

“The reality is constructive talks, almost daily talks, we are, in fact, close,” Kudlow said.

He said later on Bloomberg TV that Trump basically likes what he sees in the current talks.

But he added that the president is not yet ready to sign any deal with China.

Meanwhile, China said Friday that it would exempt some US soybeans and pork from tariffs – an attempt to inject some momentum into their ongoing trade talks, the South China Morning Post reported.

The customs tariff commission of the State Council said in a statement that some purchases of the two commodities by Chinese businesses would not be hit by the punitive duties imposed as a countermeasure in the trade war with the US.

Chinese companies had already “imported certain quantities of goods from the United States,” the statement said.

At a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng again said that if the two sides agreed on an interim trade deal, “tariffs should be reduced accordingly,” the paper reported.

China slapped 25 percent tariffs on US soybeans and pork in July 2018 after the US imposed punitive duties on Chinese goods.


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