Trump advisor Larry Kudlow: 'Nothing is set in stone right now' on new China tariffs

  • President Donald Trump's economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said nothing is "set in stone" on whether he will impose additional tariffs on China.
  • Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the G-20 summit next month, though it is unclear if they will talk about trade.
  • Trade talks between Washington and Beijing have recently stalled.

President Donald Trump's top economic advisor pushed back slightly on reports that Trump may implement more tariffs on China as the two nations' trade battle escalates.

"Nothing is set in stone right now," Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday, ahead of potential talks between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit next month.

Washington and Beijing have levied an escalating series of tariffs that raised fears about broader damage to the U.S. economy. Trump has brought up the possibility of slapping tariffs on $267 billion more in imports from China as trade talks between the world's two largest economies stall.

On Wednesday, Kudlow said "policy talks" will determine whether the White House imposes additional duties, "not an arbitrary timeline." The National Economic Council director added that he would not spell out the specific demands Trump wants China to meet in order for him to reduce tariffs. But he noted that the president has repeatedly pushed for Beijing to address alleged intellectual property theft and barriers to U.S. imports.

"It is possible some good positive things could — I say could — come out of President Trump-President Xi talks. It's possible," he said.

Kudlow thinks the leaders will meet next month, but said no agenda is set for certain. The Trump administration has already slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods.

The remarks from Kudlow came just after he interviewed Trump in the White House to tout the economy and job growth during his administration. At the event less than a week before the midterms, Trump repeated his claim that "I think you're going to lose a lot of money" if Republicans perform poorly in Tuesday's elections.

Kudlow also contended Wednesday that Democratic gains in Congress would hurt financial markets, but it is unclear if they would.

— CNBC's Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.