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Kudlow: China’s auto tariffs could quickly go to zero

December 3, 2018

President Trump’s top economic adviser said Monday he expects rapid action from China on trade concessions to the U.S., including big tariff reductions maybe to zero on automobiles.

“They put stuff on the table that we have not seen before,” said Larry Kudlow, director of the president’s National Economic Council.

He said the commitments by Beijing include cutting tariffs and addressing theft of intellectual property that have topped Mr. Trump’s list of demands.

“This is just an enormous, enormous event,” Mr. Kudlow told reports on a conference call.

The breakthrough in trade talks included commitments from China for “immediate” action, he said.

“So we’ll see,” Mr. Kudlow said. “But I can tell you I’ve never seen that immediately commitment before.”

Mr. Kudlow said that the discussions he participated in lead him to believe Beijing would reduce the tariffs on autos from 25 percent to zero.

The optimism at the White House stemmed from a truce in the trade war agreed to at a dinner meeting Saturday between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires, where the leaders attended the Group of 20 leaders summit.

The U.S. agreed to a 90-day delay of higher tariffs that were set to hit China on Jan. 1 and Beijing agreed to begin opening up its markets to American goods.

Mr. Trump said Beijing would lower tariffs on cars, increase imports of U.S. agriculture and other goods. The details remain to be finalized before the new April deadline for more tariffs on Chinese goods.

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