The United States’ trade deal with China is “fully intact,” and, in fact, China has been “picking up its game in the last month,” White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday while offering clarification after comments offered by trade adviser Peter Navarro that seemed to indicate the deal was over.
“The clarity is involved with the president’s tweet last evening,” Kudlow told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney. “The deal is fully intact. Actually, China has been picking up its game in the last month, according to trade representative (Robert) Lighthizer.”
Kudlow said he’s been in several Oval Office meetings with President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and others, and “that’s been our view. They have actually picked up their game. It’s not just commodity buying, although that is picking up, too.”
Navarro Monday night told Fox News, when answering a question about if Trump wanted to maintain the agreement and ensure that China made good on its commitments, said “It’s over. Yes.”
Trump tweeted, shortly after Navarro’s appearance, that “the China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully, they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!”
Navarro, meanwhile, sought to clarify his comments, claiming to the Wall Street Journal that they were “taken wildly out of context.”
Kudlow defended Navarro, telling Varney that when one is appearing with the media, “you will let one or two get away…I have known Peter Navarro for a long time. He’s a very smart guy. He’s working hard for the president. He misspoke and I think he straightened it out. The trade deal is on.”
Meanwhile, Trump has ordered a freeze on H1B and other visas, and Kudlow said the pause is directly related to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the economy, and it’s vital to get Americans back to work first.
“Minority groups got slammed during this pandemic contraction,” he said. “I think this again, this is temporary through the end of the year, then it will be reviewed pending the outcome of the economy. I think he’s on the right track here.”
Meanwhile, Kudlow predicted there will be a “healthy discussion” after the July 4 recess on the next move on economic policy, including another phase of coronavirus stimulus including direct payments.
“I think the tax rebates or the direct mail checks are on the table,” he said. “This is all pre-decisional. There are a lot of discussions going on.”
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