Trump will evaluate comments before deciding on China tariffs – Kudlow

© Reuters. Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks at the White House in Washington


By Susan Heavey and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will not make any decisions on his threatened tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before officials evaluate public comments on them, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office collected 5,914 individual comments on the proposed tariffs before a public comment period ended late on Thursday night.

“The president himself, we will evaluate the comments and we will make a decision regarding the $200 billion,” Kudlow said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll make a decision on the volume, on the rate, on the timing, I don’t want to get ahead of that curve, it’s out there.”

Kudlow declined to say whether any decisions would be made on Friday.

But Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC that the Trump administration was still talking with China about a number of trade issues, but so far, China had not met U.S. requests.

“We are still talking with China on a number of issues… Those talks will continue to go on. We want lower (trade) barriers across the board,” he said.

Specifically, Kudlow said, the United States was seeking “zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies, stop the IP theft, stop the technology transfer, allow Americans to own their own companies.”

“Those have been our asks for many months and so far those asks have not been satisfied,” he said. “However hope springs eternal.”

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Kudlow said he was mildly optimistic about trade talks with the European Union and that soybeans, beef, , and military sales were “on the board” in those negotiations.

(This story corrects date of Kudlow remarks to Friday)

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