If the president picks Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn you can take off the table the following things:
- We will be accepting of the allies who don't necessarily play fair with steel and aluminum if they do business with America.
- The media will lap it up because Larry has a way of being reasonable and non-confrontational yet stern. I know this because I was his partner for four years and we rarely agreed on issues -- we don't on trade -- and yet while he always did his very best to convince me I was wrong, he did so as a thoughtful gentleman.
- China has something to worry about. Unlike Germany and Japan or even Korea which sell us many imported cars and keep the price of cars down for the working person, Larry believes that China is simply an unfair actor. Larry has said over and over that a tariffs are the bane of the working person, but he has changed his tune to be closer to the president on Chinese trade. It was vital that he do so if he wanted the job.
- He will argue the Ronald Reagan position in the White House and in an institution starved of history he will bring tons of it.
- Our allies are going to get a friendly voice in the tariff analysis, but our enemies will be chided to do the right thing. This will be very different from the president who takes a meat axe approach to these kinds of things.
Now if you step back you will recognize that if Larry gets the call from the president, whom he spoke to yesterday and is very much a front runner, it's a very big loss from the Peter Navarro camp. Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Counsel, believes that the tariffs must be extended pretty much across the board because the Chinese will find a way to dump if we allow other countries to sell steel into our market. Navarro's camp is all about stopping China from making excess steel and aluminum and the only was you can do that is to choke everyone off as the Chinese will not be stopped because steel and aluminum give jobs to hundreds of thousands of workers.
The state owned companies have not been reined in and those are the real bad actors. They would be if Navarro were running the show.
Instead I figure that the Chinese will find other ways to get in and that's a concern for our country's workers particularly if China uses our anointed allies and can take advantage of the strong dollar that Larry has always stood for.
But let's understand one big thing: Larry Kudlow is a patriot that will do what's right for the most Americans possible. If that means helping them with a bountiful stock market he will do so. If it means helping them with cheaper autos he will do so. If it means siding with the millions who buy rather than the hundreds of thousands who make then he will do so.
But if he disagrees with the president, he will state his case and then back down if he loses and be a very credible person to argue what the president calls for and that's exactly how Trump would love it to play out, which is why I believe he gets the job.