White House National Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday denied reports that world leaders are warning the Trump administration that tariffs levied by Washington could lead to a global recession.
Kudlow pushed back on a comment made by United Kingdom Prime Minister – and close Trump ally – Boris Johnson at this weekend’s G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, about fears of a global recession coming from Trump’s ongoing trade war with China.
Kudlow said the summit had “gone very well,” during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
"Better than we thought, with a very positive vibe,” he said. “I would go so far and say that it's been a solid gathering.”
As for Johnson’s concerns, Kudlow criticized CNN for only playing on air a fraction of the U.K. leader’s comments and said they were taken out of context.
"I'm not sure I agree with how you portray that. I was in that meeting," Kudlow said. “Sometimes, you're taking a quote out of context.”
Kudlow said that Trump is not having second thoughts about hiking tariffs on China, a move that further escalated the trade war that is rattling financial markets worldwide, even though the president seemed to say Sunday that he had second thoughts about fueling the trade war with China.
Kudlow said the only second thought the president had was that he didn't raise the tariffs higher than he did.
Last week, Beijing slapped new tariffs on $75 billion in American goods. Kudlow says China's retaliatory action was a "moderate action" and Trump took a "measured, proportionate" action in response by increasing tariffs by 5 percentage points on Chinese goods.
On Saturday, Trump said that the U.S. and Japan have agreed in principle on a new trade agreement.
Trump said the two sides have agreed on every point and hope to sign the agreement next month.
The two leaders are not going into many details of the pact, but the U.S. is seeking to increase agricultural exports to Japan such as beef, pork and corn. Trump says Japan is expected to make large purchases of corn as part of the agreement.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says there is still some work left to do, but says the proposal would have "immense positive impacts" on the economies of both the U.S. and Japan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.