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Larry Kudlow. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The news that the U.S. economy grew 3.2% the first quarter of this year gives the U.S. some "leverage" in upcoming trade talks with China, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"I'm cautiously optimistic about the deal ... China's economy is slumping and has been for some time."
— Larry Kudlow

Yes, but: Axios' Courtenay Brown reported earlier this month that China's economy grew 6.4% in Q1 on an annual basis, exceeding analysts' 6.3% growth estimate. But, analysts did warn that it's "too early to call a sustainable turnaround," per Reuters.

Driving the news: President Trump on Thursday sparked a flurry of anticipation, the New York Times reported, when he suggested there will be a visit from Xi soon.

  • While Trump kept his comments vague, people familiar with the situation told NYT that the hope is for Trump and Xi to sign an agreement in May or June.
  • And, earlier this month, Trump suggested an "epic" trade deal could be getting closer, per NYT.

What's happening now: Trade negotiations are continuing on April 30 in Beijing, when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing, the White House said on Tuesday.

  • Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will continue the trade talks with a delegation in D.C. on May 8.

Go deeper:

  • China's Xi signals approval for Trump's trade war demands (Bloomberg)
  • China and Canada fall away as Mexico becomes the U.S.’ biggest trading partner (SCMP)
  • Why China's stimulus isn't all good (Axios)

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.