Kudlow: U.S. exports to China will double under ‘phase one’ deal, agreement to be signed in early January

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters outside the White House, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:52 PM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

According to National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, the ‘phase one’ trade deal with China is complete. While speaking to reporters at the White House Monday, he said U.S. exports to China will double under the deal. The White House economic adviser also said China will increase imports of all goods and services, and emphasized the positive effects this will have on economic growth in the U.S.

“It covers IP and it covers tech transfers, and it covers financial services and it covers currencies and so forth,” he explained. “But one of the things it covers…not just agriculture, but the deal includes a Chinese purchase of America goods and services across the board.”

Kudlow pointed out that currency manipulation is a key part of the agreement, and it addresses other major issues like IP theft and foreign access to the Chinese market. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer will sign the deal with the Chinese vice premier in Washington in early January.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks during an event to sign an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, at the national palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Dec. 10. 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

During that same press briefing, Kudlow also commented on the USMCA. He said a separate agreement on labor inspections with Mexico will not derail the trade deal and will boost the sides’ compliance with the accord. On Monday, Mexico said it opposed U.S. inspectors monitoring labor conditions at Mexican plants, but the U.S. economic chief stressed that all USMCA members must have the same labor standards.

“We want all the countries that we trade with to have the same worker rights as we do here, to the extent that we will work through with Mexico and Canada on workers rights and union rules,” he stated. “I don’t think that’s going to be difficult, and I know it’s not going to stop the successful passage of USMCA.”

Kudlow went on to say the White House will work on a trade deal with the Britain soon soon as possible, noting impeachment will not slow anything down.

RELATED: Mnuchin Says Trade Deal With China To Boost Global Economy

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Sen. Graham: U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan must be ‘conditioned-based’

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during a press conference at the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:30 PM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham says the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan must be based on certain conditions. While speaking in Kabul Monday, the South Carolina Republican said Afghanistan cannot trust in the Taliban to be a reliable counter-terrorism force. He also said the group must keep its promises made during its talks with U.S. officials.

This comes as President Trump could reduce U.S. troops in the country from 12,000 to 8,600. Sen. Graham said Afghan forces are up to the task of defending their country, but he opposes a full pullout of U.S. troops.

“It needs to be clear that our presence in Afghanistan will continue and our goal is to withdraw our forces based on conditions that would warrant withdrawal. Those conditions are pretty clear to me. We cannot withdraw in a fashion to allow international terrorism to rear its ugly head again in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, talks between the U.S. and the Taliban have been put on hold again following a recent attack, which left two people dead and dozens of others injured north of Kabul.

Security personnel arrive near the site of an attack near the Bagram Air Base In Parwan province of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. A powerful suicide bombing Wednesday targeted an under-construction medical facility near the Bagram Air Base, the main American base north of the capital Kabul, the U.S. military said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

RELATED: White House Pauses Taliban Negotiations After U.S. Air Base Bombing

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China criticizes U.S. for expelling Chinese diplomats

File – The U.S. and Chinese flags are pictured side by side. (Andy Wong/AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:21 AM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

China is urging the U.S. to reconsider the expulsion of two Chinese diplomats from the country. In a statement Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the U.S.’s accusation against the diplomats is “contrary to the facts” and has lodged complaints with U.S. officials.

According to reports, two diplomats drove up to an entry checkpoint at a “sensitive military installation” in Norfolk, Virginia. Instead of turning around, the diplomats drove further into the base before being stopped.

“We strongly urge the U.S. to correct its mistakes, reverse its decision and protect the legitimate rights and interests that relevant Chinese diplomats are entitled to under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” stated Geng Shunag spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

U.S. officials say they believe the incident was a test of the security at the installation, however, Chinese officials say the diplomats did not understand the guard’s instructions. This come as tensions over spying activity between the two countries is reportedly escalating.

RELATED: U.S. Expelled Chinese Officials After They Drove Onto Military Base: NYT

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