Tariffs need to come off the table in US, China trade talks: Fmr. Obama Assistant Secretary of Commerce

President Trump is working to get a trade deal with China completed in the next four weeks as some former economic officials are voicing their concerns about the impact a potential trade agreement could have on the U.S. economy.

Nicole Lamb-Hale, former assistant commerce secretary under the Obama administration, told FOX Business she is concerned about the impact the trade discussions could have on U.S. supply chains.

“It's very important that you consider the fact that consumers are hurt when the inputs, to manufacturing for instance, in the U.S. come from China. That drives the costs up to consumers in the U.S. for products,” she said on Friday.

Lamb-Hale said there also has to be a point in the trade negotiations where tariffs are no longer on the table and enforcement mechanisms should be considered.

“One of the things that concerned me about the steel and aluminum tariffs is the fact that they were being levied under a national security framework. We really have to be careful in terms of having credibility with our allies and our strategic alliances to not cry wolf, so to speak, when it comes to national security,” she said on "Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast."

While Lamb-Hale does characterize tariffs as market distortive, she said Trump’s use of tariffs as a negotiating tactic could prove successful for the U.S.

“Certainly, tariffs give the U.S. some leverage to ensure that any agreement that China makes is enforceable.”


White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators will continue their talks next week by video conference. Kudlow also told reporters that the U.S. trade talks have progressed further than ever before while negotiating some of the most difficult issues with China.

“In general, by the way, the scope of these talks is like nothing else we've ever had in the history of U.S. and China relations,” Kudlow added.