Kudlow 'optimistic' on China trade deal

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday that he is “optimistic” about striking a trade deal with China.

“I’m going to play it from the optimistic side,” Kudlow said at The Hill’s Newsmaker Series event in Washington, D.C.

“We’ve made good progress. I don’t want to predict. It’s gotta be a great deal,” he added.

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The Trump administration has been in intense negotiations with China over a trade deal to lift a bevy of tariffs and grant the U.S. greater access to the Chinese market.

Kudlow said the deal would have to address structural issues related to intellectual property and technology, among other issues.

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Former Sears holding company sues ex-CEO, Mnuchin and others over 'asset stripping' MORE told CNBC that the two sides had agreed on an enforcement mechanism in the talks.

“We’ve pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism. We’ve agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters. So this is something that both sides are taking very seriously,” Mnuchin said.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, which led China to impose its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.

Kudlow also said on Thursday that he expected the Democratic House majority to bring the White House’s trade deal with Canada and Mexico, the USMCA, to a vote this year.

“I think Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi has been very accommodative to us, frankly,” he said.

The deal would modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Democrats have said elements of the deal, including provisions on enforcing environmental and labor laws, would have to be updated before they support it.

“No enforcement, no treaty,” Pelosi said this month.

The Hill's Newsmaker Series event on tax cuts and small business was sponsored by the Job Creators Network.