White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Friday that President Donald Trump would consider extending the 90-day tariff truce with China if progress is made in trade talks.
“The president has indicated if there’s good, solid movement and good action, he might, he might be willing to extend the 90 days. We’ll have to see on that,” said Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council.
Kudlow said the trade talks with China are “extremely promising.” But he stressed, “Before I run away with optimism: Trust but verify” and make sure promises made are “promises kept.”
Meanwhile, shortly after the Kudlow interview, White House trade policy advisor Peter Navarro, a China hawk, told CNN that if there’s no agreement during the 90 days, U.S. officials would move forward with higher tariffs.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Saturday to the trade cease-fire on no new tariffs on each other’s goods as negotiations continue. On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that China trade talks are going “very well.”
Kudlow, former Wall Street economist and ex-CNBC senior contributor, said on “Squawk on the Street” the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, won’t affect U.S.-China trade talks.
Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained in Canada on Saturday, the same day Trump and Chinese President Xi had dinner to talk about trade on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina. In a statement Wednesday, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said that Meng was arrested “for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran.”
“We have these sanctions on Iran,” Kudlow said Thursday. “Why shouldn’t we enforce that?”
The Trump advisor added that American companies doing business in China shouldn’t “stop business or disrupt business just on the basis of Huawei.”
Navarro said Friday that Huawei is a “bad actor,” though he did acknowledge that the timing of Meng’s arrest was “unusual but the actions were legitimate.”