Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, pauses while speaking to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)  

Kudlow Says China Deal Hinges on Enforcement, Structural Issues

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President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said the scope of U.S. trade talks with Beijing is broader and deeper than ever before but a final outcome would ultimately depend on verification of Chinese commitments.

Larry Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, said in an interview with CNBC Tuesday that “enforcement is absolutely crucial to the success of these talks.”

“Promises are great but enforcement is what we want -- things like deadlines and timetables and full coverage of the various structural issues,” he said. “Will this all be solved at the end of the month? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare to predict.”

Kudlow acknowledged “the degree of difficulty” and said that it was up to the president to decide “what he can accept or cannot accept.”

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer from Jan. 30 to 31. That meeting will be “very, very important” and “determinative,” Kudlow said.

He denied reports that preparatory trade talks with Chinese officials had been canceled due to a lack of progress.

The Financial Times reported earlier Tuesday that U.S. officials canceled preparatory talks with Wang Shouwen, a vice minister of commerce, and Liao Min, a vice minister of finance, because of a lack of progress on intellectual-property issues and structural reforms to China’s economy.

If trade talks with China don’t produce a deal by March 1, the White House has scheduled an increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

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