Kudlow predicts Europe will be exempted from Trump tariffs

Kudlow predicts Europe will be exempted from Trump tariffs
© Getty Images

Economist Larry Kudlow is predicting that all of Europe will likely be exempted from the steel and aluminum import tariffs President TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations MORE rolled out this week.

Kudlow, a senior CNBC contributor who served as an informal economic adviser to Trump's campaign, noted during an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York that the administration has signaled exemptions for several major trading partners.

"Canada is exempt. Mexico is exempt. Australia is exempt. I guarantee you, all of Europe is going to wind up being exempt," Kudlow said in the interview broadcast Sunday. "And I bet you our allies in Asia will wind up being exempt. China may be the only one [not exempt]."

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House quickly offered exemptions to the country's two North American neighbors last week, Canada and Mexico, while Trump said Saturday that he's working out a similar agreement with Australia after a conversation with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The European Union was among the first trading partners to threaten retaliation against Trump's protectionist trade policy, announcing last week that it was considering imposing taxes on $3.5 billion in goods exported from the U.S.

Kudlow, who has been floated as a possible replacement for Trump's recently resigned top economic adviser Gary Cohn, said that he regards China as a "key problem" for the U.S. and that he's "not opposed to targeted tariffs" against the superpower.

"It’s a Trumpian way of negotiating," Kudlow said. "You knock them in the teeth and get their attention. And then you kind of work out a deal and I think that's what he’s done. My hats off to him. He had me really worried. Now I’m not.”