President Donald Trump has not asked his cabinet to put together a trade deal with China, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, contradicting an earlier report.
Halftime Report.” “We have already put out asks to China with respect to trade.”
“We’re doing a normal, routine run-through of things that we’ve already put together and normal preparation,” he said. “We’re not on the cusp of a deal.”
Bloomberg reported earlier on Friday that Trump had asked officials to prepare a draft for a U.S.-China trade deal. Three senior administration officials told CNBC that there was not indication of an imminent trade deal with China.
Equities fell to their lows of the day following Kudlow’s comments, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 200 points.
Kudlow’s comments come a day after Trump tweeted he had a “long and very good conversation” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade.
Kudlow did say, however, Trump and Xi will meet at the G-20 summit and discuss trade.
Concern over global trade has rattled investors for most of 2018 as the Trump administration takes a protectionist stance on the matter. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billion of dollars worth of Chinese imports. China has retaliated with levies of its own on U.S. goods.
“We have more to do, if the president chooses to do it, on tariffs,” Kudlow said. “They just have to show us concrete responses to our asks.”