Defending the decision of President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, his new economic advisor Lawrence Kudlow today said the US cannot let China "willy-nilly steal American technology".
Trump, he said, believes that one can't have free trade, which is pro-growth around the world unless China brings down its barriers, opens up its markets and stops stealing technology.
"We cannot let China willy-nilly steal our technology," Kudlow said in an interview.
"I mean, lots of rhetoric out there, like, you know, old Communist Party-type stuff. The whole world, please, the whole world knows China has been violating trade laws for many years and President Trump is the guy calling them on it and he's right to do so," he said.
He said Trump has a number of tools at his disposal.
"This is a problem caused by China, not a problem caused by President Trump, and I would go so far as to say, Trump is there to fix the problem," he said.
Kudlow said he has opposed the blanket tariffs. "Now, with respect to China, I've always been a hard-liner on China, and while I don't like tariffs, sometimes there is no substitution for putting tariffs into the discussion, into the process. That is part of the quiver of arrows that the president has," he said.
He said Trump is a great negotiator and he has a whole history of that.
"But in this process, tariffs have to be part of it. There's no two ways about it. Then, hopefully, there will be discussions and hopefully, in just the next two months, the Chinese will come seriously back to the table," he added.
"President Trump has told me, we were together a long time on Thursday and Friday. He likes President Xi. They get along. He respects President Xi as a negotiator, but they have not played by the rules. This has been going on," he said.
"Technology is everything to this country, everything -- our entrepreneurship, our innovation, our future growth, our productivity. We cut corporate tax rates precisely to unlock the animal spirits around technology," Kudlow said.
To a question on the plummeting of the stock markets as a result of Trump's tariff announcement on Chinese import products, he acknowledged there are some jitters out there.
"I don't think there's any trade or insight. Just technically, we have taken no actions, you understand that," he said.
"It's a long process. Several months here. We put our papers, we take public comments. We then review the public comments and then decisions will be made. So far, no tariffs and no action has been enacted," Kudlow said.
"But China's response was highly unsatisfactory and I think that's unfortunate. We do have constant communication with them, to be sure. I hope their side picks up on this. But so far, stonewalling us is not the answer," Kudlow said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)