President Trump and Larry Kudlow reportedly “had it out” after the top White House economic adviser contradicted the president publicly by saying everyday Americans would be hurt by tariffs on Chinese goods.
An unidentified White House official told The Washington Post that the president and Kudlow spoke after the aide’s appearance on “Fox News Sunday” last weekend.
“Trump called Larry, and they had it out,” said the official, according to the newspaper, which added that two other sources described the exchange as cordial.
Other sources reportedly said that Trump repeatedly told Kudlow during the conversation to “not worry about” the consequences of tariffs on U.S. businesses.
The Trump administration announced it would hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products last Friday. Beijing announced higher tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods as retaliation.
Trump’s former nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board, Stephen Moore, told the Post that the president is unlikely to back down from his threats for more tariff action against China unless a deal is struck to address U.S. concerns with U.S.-China trade policy.
“I don’t see him crying uncle anytime soon,” said Moore. “It’s a high-risk strategy, but it’s not in his personality to back down. This goes back to what he said that first time he came down the escalator at Trump Tower.”
Kudlow’s remarks contradicting the president came during an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, who pressed him about the impact of tariffs.
“In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” Kudlow told Wallace.
“The Chinese will suffer [gross domestic product] losses and so forth with respect to a diminishing export market and goods that they may need,” Kudlow added.
Trump, however, has publicly defended his trade strategy, writing on Twitter that there is “no reason” U.S. consumers should feel the effect of tariffs.
“Their is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today,” he said. “This has been proven recently when only 4 points were paid by the U.S., 21 points by China because China subsidizes product to such a large degree. Also, the Tariffs can be completely avoided if you [buy] from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea).”
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