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C-SPAN has full video of Kudlow’s remarks. You can view it here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?467160-1/larry-kudlow-comments-reporters-white-house
Q: Does the administration want to wait until after 2020 for a China trade deal?
“We’re just going to just take that a day at a time. Talks around the clock right now. We are close, we’re not quite there yet. The president has characterized these talks as constructive and I don’t want to make any forecasts about any dates. There’s no arbitrary deadlines, there never has been.”
Q: Do you expect on tariffs on China on Dec. 15?
“Again, no arbitrary deadlines, but as you know, the president laid out a plan that suggested the temporary suspension of some of those consumer goods tariffs you are referring to would go to December 15 and then would revert back to higher rate. I don’t want to say that is what’s going to happen. I’m just saying keep an eye on it, you’re right. I don’t want to make any predictions. There’s nothing arbitrary about it. But that is out there and it could happen if the deal is not completed by December 15. I’m not saying as a forecast. I’m just saying here are the possibilities.”
Asked about the jobs report and whether there is room for improvement with an impeachment on the horizon, Kudlow called it “a heck of a good report” and “spectacular.”
“As I say and the way I look at it, America is working. America is working and not only is America working, America is getting paid after taxes,” he said.
“I don’t see any end to it right now. What I see is more strength.”
Q: How much does the president’s leeway to negotiate with the Chinese change in the election year?
“Personally, I don’t even want to predict that these talks will go that far or not. That’s up to the president. … I don’t think his criteria or conditions change. He’s protecting America, he’s defending our economy, our manufacturers, farmers, technology people. He’s defending us from unfair trading practices … and I don’t think that has anything to do with the election. I think what he is looking at is the long-term security of the United States and its economy and it’s working.”
Q: Does impeachment have an impact on his ability to negotiate with China?
“No. I don’t think so at all. Our principles haven’t changed whatsoever.”
Q: It doesn’t weaken his standing?
“No,” Kudlow said. “Personally, I don’t think this impeachment stuff is going anyplace. There may be an impeachment vote; there will be no conviction, that is my view. I think the Chinese know that. I think a lot of people know that. But putting those opinions aside, we have seen no evidence of that.”
Kudlow also told an anecdote about an unnamed “grand, older American statesman” who recently came back from a China visit and said he was told by people there that Chinese President Xi Jinping would “rather continue to discuss and negotiate with President Trump.”
When asked if the person was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Kudlow declined to confirm the person’s identity.
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