US forming 'trade coalition' to confront China: Trump adviser

Published October 4, 2018
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow talks to the press outside the White House in Washington, DC. —AFP
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow talks to the press outside the White House in Washington, DC. —AFP

The United States is uniting with other major economies to take on China's unfair trade practices, a senior White House economic adviser said on Thursday.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow also said there was a possibility US President Donald Trump could meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina at the end of November.

“We're moving to what I characterise as a trade coalition of the willing to confront China,” Kudlow told the Economic Club of Washington. “We are talking to the European Union again. We are talking to Japan again.”

The United States, Japan and the European Union last month announced they were jointly considering “possible measures” against the kind of unfair industrial practices widely attributed to Beijing, such as overcapacity, cyber-theft and forced technology transfers.

Trump has slapped duties on more than $250 billion in imports from China, demanding an end to such actions, which US officials say underpin Beijing's efforts to achieve industrial dominance by 2025.

Kudlow also told reporters on Thursday that channels of communication with Beijing remained open but there were currently no plans for more shuttle diplomacy between Washington and Beijing.

“There's some thinking about maybe Presidents Xi and Trump might get together at the G20 in Buenos Aires but that's not a lock. I'm just saying there's some thinking about that,” Kudlow said.

“Our position is, (if) they want to talk, serious talks, significant talks, we're ready any time.”

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