Trump meeting with Xi will be 'formal,' says White House advisor

Trump meeting with Xi will be 'formal,' says White House advisor
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill MORE's scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming Group of 20 summit will be more than a sidelines meeting, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Thursday, and may include a formal dinner.

Kudlow said that the talks could include trade, a key flashpoint in the Sino-American relationship. Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, and China has responded with its own tariffs on American goods.

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"If we could reach a satisfactory deal with China, the tariffs could be pulled," Kudlow said, specifying that agreements would have to be reached on issues such as intellectual property theft and property ownership.

If the sides fail to reach a deal, he added, "then the president will continue to aggressively pursue his agenda."

Kudlow said that the trade war with China was causing only minimal harm to a booming economy and is not responsible for the recent dip in stock prices.

"I understand there are some questions and perhaps some anxiety about trade," he said. "The president would like to abolish tariffs and non-tariff barriers. He is a free trader."

But he said China was to blame for the president initiating a trade war given its bad behavior in the realm of trade.

"The principal culprit is China," he said. "I think only they can break the logjam."

He also acknowledged that a slowdown in the Chinese economy could affect U.S. growth, but said the U.S could muddle through anyway.

"I'm not going to deny that there could be some very modest effects," he said. "We can do it without China. Right now we are doing it without China."