Kudlow touts US-EU trade ties after Trump-Juncker agreement

Kudlow touts US-EU trade ties after Trump-Juncker agreement
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s top economic adviser said Thursday that the United States and the European Union will join forces to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox Business Network today that the US and Europe “will be allied” against China a day after Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced an agreement to work toward a free trade agreement.

Kudlow said China had “broken the world trading system” and that Junker “made it clear” Wednesday that the EU would back the Trump administration’s efforts to curb trade abuse from Beijing.

“They’re not the only ones but the world trading system is broken with high tariffs and barriers and technological stealing and IP theft,” Kudlow said of China.

Trump and Juncker announced Wednesday that the US and EU had agreed to begin talks geared toward removing all tariffs and trade barriers imposed on each other.

The EU has agreed to increase U.S. soybean and liquified natural gas (LNG) imports, lower industrial tariffs and work more closely together on regulations and energy. The US also agreed to not impose further tariffs on the EU while negotiations continue, including planned levies on foreign automobiles.

Lawmakers from both parties and business groups have called on Trump to lift tariffs on EU and other major allies and handle trade issues through negotiations instead. Critics of Trump's trade policy insist that the US cannot afford to damage its ties to Europe if it wants to successfully curb Chinese cheating on trade.

While the agreement between Trump and Juncker received tentative praise from lawmakers, the deal is far short of a formal end to trade tensions between the US and EU. Trump’s tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent on imported steel and aluminum are still in effect, as are the EU’s levies on US agricultural exports.

Kudlow said he wasn’t sure when the US and EU would strike a final free-trade agreement, but said Wednesday’s deal was crucial to ending trade barriers between the countries.

“The EU came with a positive attitude, our side had a positive attitude, we are going to get to work immediately on these issues and then we will deal with the larger picture,” said Kudlow of the deal between Trump and Junker. “This changes everything.”