Larry Kudlow: Trump is 'moderately optimistic' about a China trade deal before the March deadline

Key Points
  • Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow says the president is "moderately optimistic" about reaching a trade deal with China the March deadline.
  • Kudlow tells Fox Business "it's very important" that progress is made this week during trade talks with Chinese officials at the White House.
Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks during a White House briefing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is "moderately optimistic" about the U.S. reaching a trade deal with China before their mutual tariff cease-fire expires on March 2.

Kudlow told Fox Business "it's very important" that progress is made on Wednesday and Thursday, when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer leads trade discussions at the White House with Chinese representatives.

In addition to Kudlow, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade advisor Peter Navarro round out the U.S. delegation in the talks.

"I think everybody, including the president, is basically moderately optimistic" about resolving the trade disputes between the world's two largest economies, Kudlow said in the interview.

"The president believes that he and [Chinese] President Xi will probably be the ultimate negotiators. And the work being done tomorrow and Thursday is vitally important to lay out options," Kudlow said.

Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said Trump has been saying in meetings that he wants to be involved in these latest talks.

In an earlier interview with Fox Business, Mnuchin said the U.S. expects to make "significant progress" in this week's China trade war negotiations.

Among the concessions the Trump administration hopes to get are measures to reduce the massive U.S. trade deficit and to address forced technology transfers from U.S. companies operating in China.