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Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, went after China on Thursday for digging in its heels in trade talks with the U.S.
"They are unfair traders. They are illegal traders. They have stolen our intellectual property," Kudlow said at the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday. "China has not responded positively to any of our asks."
"America has the greatest technology in the world; it is the backbone of our economy," he said. "China can't seem to do that, so they steal it. We can't allow that."
Kudlow's comments come as the U.S. and China have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other's goods. These protectionist trade policies have stoked fears of a possible slowdown in the global economy and have kept investors on edge for most of 2018.
"We have to defend America's interests; we have to defend American workers and farmers," Kudlow said. "We have used tariffs as part of [President Donald Trump's] negotiating strategy, and he won't let go of his criticism that China must change. "
Kudlow also pointed out that the U.S. economy is stronger than China's, noting the Chinese yuan's fall is a sign that investors have lost confidence in their economy.
"We are in a boom, and they know it," Kudlow said.