By William Mauldin
WASHINGTON -- President Trump's top economic adviser said Friday that there are "no arbitrary deadlines" for completing a limited trade deal with China ahead of a new set of tariffs planned for this month.
"These are presidential decisions," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday on CNBC. "But, the fact remains that [Dec. 15] is a very important date, with respect to a no-go or a go on tariffs."
Some trade experts expect Mr. Trump to follow a previous pattern and delay imposing tariffs as planned on Dec. 15 while negotiators are pursuing a deal. Mr. Kudlow's comments left open the possibility for such a delay in the U.S. tariffs on consumer electronics and clothing set for that date.
In October, Mr. Trump said U.S. and Chinese negotiators had reached the framework for a "phase one" deal to halt the trade war, win major purchases of American farm goods and agree on rules for intellectual property and currency manipulation. Future phases of an agreement would follow the first, he said.
But the two countries missed an original mid-November deadline for hammering out the details of the phase one deal, and now business groups and farmers are hoping for an agreement before U.S. tariffs on $156 billion in annual imports from China are imposed Dec. 15. Those tariffs would cover a range of consumer goods, including Apple Inc.'s iPhones.
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