Trump tariffs are a wake-up call to other nations: Larry Kudlow

President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow is defending tough trade action on China and U.S. allies, saying the world is not on a level playing field.

“Tariffs are a wake-up call,” Kudlow said in a First on FOX Business interview on Wednesday. “They may be a form of negotiations. I don’t want to rule anything in or out.”

The world trading system has broken down steadily in the last 20 years with China as its biggest offender with unfair trade practices, according to Kudlow.

“We’re not even. It’s not a level playing field, and the president has made a decision to be strong. He’s got strong backbone, as you know, and he’s saying, look, tariffs are part of our quiver,” he said.

Kudlow added that China has yet to cooperate and has failed to provide solutions, creating an imbalance of trading conditions.

“The world trading system has got to be fixed and if nothing else, the U.S. has to be protected,” he said.

Kudlow said a side-by-side analysis of foreign and U.S. tariffs indicate a rise in tariffs and non-tariff barriers by other countries. The National Economic Council Director says lowering tariffs and non-tariff barriers will result in a boost in American export sales.

“The trade gap will narrow if we are allowed to export more to all these countries,” Kudlow said.

The Trump administration is asking for countries to comply with the U.S. in its comprehensive trade reforms to resolve any concerns of a potential trade war.

“President Trump is a trade reformer and I don’t think people see it that way,” Kudlow said. “And they want to blame him for using tariffs.”