Kudlow’s admission contradicts many of Trump’s comments and tweets to the effect that Chinese companies pay the tariffs in what amounts, in the president’s view, to a massive transfer of wealth to the United States from China. Yet almost no economist has agreed with Trump’s view and fact-checkers routinely brand Trump’s assertion false and point out that American importers of goods from China pay the tariffs.
Trump has also asserted that trade wars are “easy to win,” but Kudlow accepted that they come with costs for the U.S. economy, though he downplayed the impact.
On Friday, the Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, after charging that China had backtracked on commitments it made earlier in the talks. The administration has already hit $50 billion of additional Chinese goods with 25% duties.