Larry Kudlow may have to embrace the Trump administration’s aggressive stance on China if he hopes to get along with others in the president’s circle, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, sources told CNBC that President Donald Trump plans to name Kudlow, a CNBC senior contributor and longtime economist, as his top economic advisor. Cramer reported earlier this week that Kudlow was the leading contender to succeed Gary Cohn as the top White House economic advisor.

Kudlow has warmed up a little to Trump’s tariffs on aluminum and steel “in regards to China,”
Cramer said Wednesday on “Fast Money Halftime Report.” Kudlow previously called Trump’s tariffs are a “bad omen” and could cause a “major calamity.”

“I think Larry has to embrace that [China] feud in order to get along with other people who surround the president,” Cramer said, adding that he expects the direction of Trump’s new circle to involve “fighting back on China.”

On Tuesday, a source told CNBC that Trump is considering a trade package including indefinite tariffs, investment restrictions and possible visa restrictions on Chinese travelers.

Cramer said Tuesday that Trump’s plan to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State sends a startling message to China.

Still, Kudlow, who has previously advocated for free trade, is a win for the stock market, Cramer, contended.

“But … the markets won if you want to believe that the markets need free and unfettered trade without any regard to who works here and what industries are being hurt,” said Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money.”

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