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Trade

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow ‘expected to make full recovery’ after heart attack

Since joining the Trump administration, Kudlow has played a key role in ongoing trade talks, including disputes with China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 8:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 2:39am

US President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, is expected to recover fully after suffering a mild heart attack in the United States shortly before Trump’s nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a White House aide said on Tuesday.

“The great @larry_kudlow is expected to make a full and speedy recovery after a very mild heart attack,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a Twitter posting.

Trump announced Kudlow’s heart attack in a tweet from Singapore shortly before meeting with Kim.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Kudlow, 70, experienced “a very mild heart attack” and was admitted to Walter Reed Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, on Monday.

Conservative economist Art Laffer, who has been a friend of Kudlow for decades, said Kudlow called him last night from the hospital to let him know he was recovering.

“The called lasted 20 seconds. He just said, ’I want you to know I’m fine, I’m going to be fine’,” Laffer said.

Kudlow, a former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a Wall Street economist, has played a central role in ongoing trade talks, including disputes with China that led Trump to threaten tariffs. Kudlow, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is known as an advocate within the administration of more robust trade in opposition to more protectionist views advocated by trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Kudlow co-authored an editorial arguing tariffs are a tax on consumers earlier this year before Trump chose him as director of the White House National Economic Council. Yet Kudlow has defended Trump’s trade policies in public since his appointment.

Kudlow accompanied Trump this weekend to the annual G7 meeting in Quebec, where the president traded barbs with the leaders of Canada, Germany and France over trade.

Kudlow raised eyebrows on Sunday when he described Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as having “stabbed us in the back” at the Group of Seven summit after the Canadian leader said Trump’s decision to invoke national security to justify US tariffs was “kind of insulting” to Canadian veterans.

US will push China to let its firms hold majority stakes in companies, says Kudlow

US trade adviser Peter Navarro reinforced that message.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” he said.

Navarro apologised for those comments on Tuesday.

“My mission was to send a very strong signal of strength,” Navarro said at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network conference. “The problem was in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message. I own that. That was my mistake, those were my words.”

Kudlow, along with Mnuchin, is known as an advocate within the administration of more robust trade in opposition to more protectionist views advocated by Navarro.

Kudlow favours a tougher line with China on trade, at least publicly. In March, after Trump named him as Gary Cohn’s replacement, Kudlow wasted no time in laying down the law to China, saying Beijing deserved its “comeuppance”.

For five years before his White House appointment in March, Kudlow hosted a CNBC show on business and politics. During Reagan’s first term, he was associate director for economics and planning in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. He has also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, The Washington Post