Larry Kudlow knocks Sanders after trade deal criticism: 'This is a historic agreement'

Kudlow defended the partial trade deal between the US and China as 'historic'

President Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China after criticism from leading Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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"I don’t know why anyone would want to re-negotiate a historic trade deal with China, which has never happened before in our history," Kudlow told FOX Business' Stuart Varney during an interview on Thursday. "And it was tough slogging."

In mid-January, Trump signed the partial deal, part of what is expected to be a broader pact. It includes, among other aspects, a commitment from Beijing to purchase $200 billion of U.S. goods over the next two years in exchange for an agreement from the U.S. to suspend planned tariffs on Chinese products. (The U.S. will maintain levies on about $375 billion worth of merchandise).

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In addition to easing nearly 18 months of tension that rattled global financial markets, the deal "is going to boost exports, intellectual property, financial services, currency stability," Kudlow said. "There are so many pluses in there. And this is a historic agreement that the president has negotiated."

Trump said he expects to conclude the tit-for-tat trade war, which has rattled global financial markets, in a phase two deal. Negotiations will begin "immediately," he said.

But Sanders, a Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist, said the deal "won't fix a failed trade policy that has destroyed 3.7 million U.S. jobs."

"We need a trade policy that stops giant corporations from shipping jobs overseas and polluting our planet," Sanders wrote in a Jan. 15 tweet.

Sanders ramped up his criticism of the Trump administration's trade policies on Wednesday, after Trump signed into law the new North American trade agreement.

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He said he would "immediately begin renegotiating" the agreement on his first day in office as president. On the most recent debate stage, Sanders was the only candidate of six to oppose the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, saying it does nothing to address climate change or provide sufficient labor protections.

“The NAFTA 2.0 that Trump signed today is an absolute disaster,” Sanders said in a statement. “In addition to doing nothing to stop the offshoring of jobs, the deal is a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry at a time when climate change threatens our planet.”

Sanders was one of just 10 senators to vote against the deal.

"I just don’t know why a sitting senator running for president is going to stand there and say, 'We’re going to rip the whole thing apart,'" Kudlow said. "What good does that do?"

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According to a polling average published by RealClearPolitics, Sanders is currently in second place both nationally, trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, and first in Iowa.

Sanders' anti-establishment campaign champions economic equality and includes a number of sweeping social policies, including Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public college, funded in large part by new taxes on Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy.

"I believe Sen. Sanders' essentially socialist policies would do grave damage to the U.S. economy, which is in a boom right now," Kudlow said.