Trump and Xi last year in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua/Li Tao via Getty Images

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, said China should be prepared for a massive slate of new tariffs absent a breakthrough in Trump’s meeting at the G20 on Saturday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and it needs to understand that Trump will continue his hardline approach as long as he’s in office.

Why it matters: Trump threatened to raise existing tariffs on China to 25% and impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese imports "if we don’t make a deal" in yesterday’s interview with the Wall Street Journal. Kudlow said in a briefing with reporters Tuesday that it’s up to Xi to change Trump’s mind because, "as we’ve all learned, he means what he says." He also insisted that it’s Trump who enters the meeting with the upper hand: "We’re strong, they’re not. From an economic standpoint, I like the position we’re in frankly. I like our negotiating position."

Kudlow said the meeting was "a great opportunity" for a breakthrough, but only if China comes in with new ideas and far more flexibility than they’ve shown thus far. He mentioned intellectual property, forced technology transfers, "so-called joint ventures" and cyber hacking as key issues for discussion.

  • There's been considerable speculation that Trump and Xi will agree to a short-term truce, in part because the markets would react so negatively if, as Kudlow warned was possible, things "deteriorate more."
  • Kudlow said Trump has shown some optimism about the meeting, but has grown deeply frustrated by China's "unsatisfactory responses" to his demands.

Between the lines: Axios contributor Bill Bishop says Kudlow is right, to a degree, that the Chinese "don't seem to understand that the tactics that worked in the past in D.C. no longer do."

  • On that note, Kudlow added, "President Xi might have a lot more to say in the dinner. I hope he does by the way, I think we all hope he does so we can break through the barriers, these impasses. Because at the moment, we don’t see it."

What to watch: The meeting will take place over dinner at the summit in Buenos Aires, where Trump will also be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kudlow said the Xi meeting won't just be about trade, as Trump's national security team also has agenda items.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged White House negotiators not to cut a deal with Democrats on new coronavirus stimulus before the election.

Driving the news: McConnell informed Senate Republicans of the move at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, two people familiar with his remarks tell Axios. McConnell's remarks were first reported by the Washington Post.

Most arrested in protests are not associated with antifa

Protesters demonstrate as a Salt Lake City police vehicle burns on May 30. Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

Antifa may be a focus on the right, but it's hard to find in the court system.

Why it matters: Very few of the people charged in this summer's protests and riots appear to be affiliated with highly organized extremist groups, reports AP.