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A Trade War Update

May 15, 2018

This profile of Larry Kudlow, Chairman of National Economic Council, is mostly an update about trade policy and negotiations, because that the issue Kudlow is most-focused on. Kudlow tries to reduce expectations for a continuation of NAFTA and a resolution of conflicts with China, but says he and the administration are working hard on both.

Instead, he’s trying to avoid the collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a bitter trade war with China — both of which could scramble the world’s economic power map — by seeking consensus with colleagues who are inclined to impose stricter trade barriers, staying close to his boss and wooing members of Congress.

Even Kudlow doesn’t know if it will work.

He spoke with POLITICO as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was locked in meetings with Mexican and Canadian counterparts on renegotiating NAFTA. The meetings produced no breakthroughs. The White House faces a May 17 deadline set by House Speaker Paul Ryan to submit a deal with the U.S.’ nearest neighbors to Congress.

 

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