As trade tensions continue to rise between the United States and China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow thinks the U.S. has the upper hand in negotiations based comparing the world’s two largest economies.
“The American economy is very strong. Theirs is not.”
Kudlow, in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” believes China’s economy is in shambles and can’t compete with the U.S.
“The Chinese economy is crumbling. It’s just not the powerhouse it was 20 years ago,” Kudlow said.
“Any long chart of Chinese investment (or economic metrics shows) a steady downdraft,” he added. “Their GDP, which is probably inflated by several points, is coming in lower and lower.”
In a recent economic report, China’s gross domestic product grew only 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019, which was the weakest growth rate reported by the country in at least 27 years — but still double that of the U.S., and nearly triple last quarter’s 2.1%.
Chinese stocks are trending down as well. The Shanghai composite index has dropped 15% since hitting its high in the last year, according to CNBC. Compare that to the S&P 500 which has only dropped 5% from its high. The index also has had a very healthy 2019, climbing nearly 15%.
Kudlow’s comments come as the U.S. and China’s tit-for-tat trade war has rocked markets around the world. On Monday, U.S. stocks dropped 3% on the worst trading day of 2019 as China retaliated to Trump’s surprise announcement of new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports, set to start on Sept. 1. Markets were on track to recover some of the losses on Tuesday.
Even as the trade war ramps up, Kudlow told CNBC that the U.S. “would like to negotiate,” and make a deal. He also insisted that the U.S. can weather a prolonged trade war and any economic slowdown better than China can.
“I think China is getting hurt significantly, much more than we are,” Kudlow said. “The American economy is very strong. Theirs is not.”