Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, was similarly upbeat about Trump’s threat on the pending US-China trade talks.
Talking on Fox Business Network on Thursday, Hassett revealed that Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He drafted “sketches of an agreement on intellectual property theft and trade … that really makes sense for both parties.”
“If you look at the paperwork we’ve got and the line-by-lines that people have sketched out, it’s just about as favorable as you could hope for,” Hassett said, adding that final details would need to be approved by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Lighthizer, Trump’s chief trade negotiator, on Wednesday was more cautious about the negotiations in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, saying much more work needed to be done to nail down an agreement and it was too soon to predict the outcome of talks.
He also said the United States would need to maintain the threat of tariffs on Chinese imports for years, even if the two countries strike a deal, a gloomy prospect for companies seeking to end trade war uncertainty.
Lighthizer had said the United States is seeking an agreement that prohibits China from competitively devaluing its currency as part of trade talks, following past manipulations of the yuan.
Adding more details, Kudlow said China would need to report any intervention in the foreign exchange market.
“The documents are very clear: I mean, even things like the currency deal … got no manipulation; they’ve got to report any interventions in the market. That’s part of it,” Kudlow said.
His comments came as the United States won a World Trade Organization ruling that China’s domestic price supports for wheat and rice were excessive and violated WTO obligations.
Trump administration officials have frequently criticized the Geneva-based WTO for its inability to rein in China’s trade practices and non-market economic policies.