This is not time-dependent. This is policy- and enforcement-dependent,” Larry Kudlow, the Director of the National Economic Council, said Thursday in a speech in Washington at the US Export-Import Bank’s annual conference, Financial Times wrote.
“This is not time-dependent. This is policy- and enforcement-dependent,” he said. “If it takes a few more weeks, or if it takes months, so be it. We have to get a great deal, as the president says, that works for the United States. That’s our principal interest.”
The two nations have imposed duties on $360 billion of each others’ imports.
Kudlow also said Washington could lift some tariffs on Beijing, while leaving others in place as part of an enforcement mechanism on a US-China trade deal.
Trump said last week the duties on Chinese exports to the US would remain in place for a “substantial period of time” as the US and China seek to reach a trade deal to ease eight months of tensions.
“We have to see what the track record is and we’re not going to give up our leverage. However, just to clarify, that doesn’t necessarily mean all the tariffs will be kept in place. Some of the tariffs would be kept there,” Kudlow said.
There have been conflicting comments out of Washington and Beijing about the likelihood of achieving a trade deal. Trump has expressed optimism about reaching a deal but US officials say a final deal still remains elusive.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a fresh round of trade talks with Chinese officials. The negotiations will be followed by another round in Washington next week.
China has made unprecedented proposals in talks with the United States on a range of issues including forced technology transfer, according to US officials.
The Trump administration is demanding China make deep structural changes, including changes to how Beijing treats US companies and its own state-owned enterprises, and the deal is expected to require commitments on the Chinese currency and protections for American technology.
Trump, who has set the bar for a trade deal extremely high, has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade practices that have hollowed out American manufacturing.