White House economic adviser: Trump 'inherited a completely broken world trading system'

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Sunday that Americans should not blame President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE for disrupting world trade by imposing steep tariffs on U.S. trading partners because the president "inherited" a broken system.

"This is a hard thing to do," Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union." "People say, ‘well, President Trump’s tariffs are damaging this that and the other thing.’ I say don’t blame President Trump."

"He inherited a completely broken world trading system … He’s trying to fix it," Kudlow added. 

The economic aide's comments came two days after the Commerce Department reported that the nation's gross domestic product, the broadest gauge of U.S. economic health, grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.


The president and his advisers have touted the number as a result of GOP-led tax cuts and deregulation under Trump.

But most economists say that growth rate is not sustainable — a claim that directly contradicts what Trump has said.

Trump in recent months has imposed tariffs on a number of key U.S. trading partners, prompting retaliatory tariffs from those countries and sparking fears that the trade war could have a negative impact on the economy. 

Asked on Sunday whether tariffs were "great" — a claim that Trump has made — Kudlow said the tariffs, particularly those targeting China, were justified.

"You know, if they’re targeted for good purpose, as per China, I think the answer is absolutely yes," Kudlow said. "That’s always been my view. Most free traders agree. China has not played by the rules and the trading system is broken largely because of them."