Kudlow says White House will be 'very aggressive' in China trade talks with US economy doing so well

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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Friday the strength of the U.S. economy gives it the upper hand over China as the two countries try to iron out a trade deal.

“China’s economy is slumping and has been for quite some time. The U.S. economy, as I say, is in this prosperity cycle with no end in sight,” Kudlow told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “So we believe that does give us some leverage, if you will.”

Kudlow made his comments after the U.S. government released first-quarter GDP numbers earlier in the day. The U.S. economy expanded by 3.2% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said. It was the best start to a year for the U.S. economy since 2015. The print also topped a Dow Jones estimate of 2.5% economic growth.

China said earlier this month that its economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, topping expectations.

The U.S. and China are trying to end a trade war that started last year. Since then, the two countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods. But the tone around the talks shifted late last year and early in 2019, with China and the U.S. signaling progress is being made.

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