Kudlow Says U.S. Won’t Defer Tariffs Because It’s Too Hard
Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg)

Kudlow Says U.S. Won’t Defer Tariffs Because It’s Too Hard

(Bloomberg) -- White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the Trump administration decided against deferring payments for certain tariffs for now, citing the complexity of administering such a plan.

“We looked a little bit at most-favored nation custom duties and we decided it was too complicated,” Kudlow said Friday on Bloomberg Television.

Kudlow Says U.S. Won’t Defer Tariffs Because It’s Too Hard

Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that President Donald Trump was briefed and signed off on a proposal to delay certain duty payments to help companies with their cash flow crunch. Trump denied on Tuesday that he had approved the plan.

The administration was previously considering an even broader idea to defer payments of all tariffs but decided on a narrower scope to exclude any enforcement duties that affect Chinese goods and steel and aluminum products from around the globe.

“We never looked in any serious way at rolling back tariffs,” Kudlow said. “We’re not going to change any of the tariff policies right now, not right now.”

Kudlow said the administration is concerned about “sending the wrong signal in terms of the president’s trade policy” if tariffs were rolled back.

When asked why the White House decided against granting an exclusion for an input that’s used to manufacture Purell hand sanitizer dispensers, Kudlow deferred the interviewer to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

“On specific matters like this, I don’t want to rule anything in or out,” he said. “Individual cases can be examined,” he added, saying “he’s not up to speed” on the specifics of the case brought by Gojo Industries, the Akron, Ohio-based inventor and manufacturer of Purell products.

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