Larry Kudlow on Trump’s desire for US to back out of TikTok sale

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday that President Donald Trump wanted to prevent China from collecting any form of payment under a deal to sell TikTok.“I think he would probably like to deny China some of the proceeds from the sale of TikTok. It’s not something that has been done in the past, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done now, “the director of the National Economic Council said on” Closing Bell “.

Trump decided to ban America’s popular social media app, saying it poses a risk to national security. It recently signed an executive order on Friday that its owner, Chinese tech company ByteDance, must sell or dispose of its U.S. business TikTok within 90 days.

A few companies have reportedly considered acquiring TikTok’s U.S. operations, including Microsoft and enterprise software giant Oracle, in response to Trump’s actions in recent weeks. In addition to operations in the United States, a potential deal would likely include TikTok’s operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The president suggested that the US government should receive a portion of any deal involving the sale of TikTok’s US operations, a deal that could be worth up to $ 30 billion. But it’s unclear exactly how, exactly, the government would perceive a portion of the sale or whether it is even permitted under the law.

ByteDance is also a private company. About 70% of ByteDance’s outside investors are from the United States, Reuters reported.

TikTok has denied claims that it poses a risk to the national security of users based in the United States. In an interview aired Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY”, the general manager of TikTok US again rebuffed the allegations.

“We have very strict data controls in place, we have an amazing team that is building a world class infrastructure,” said Vanessa Pappas.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Kudlow’s remarks

Kudlow said he “didn’t know” whether the US Treasury would ultimately receive some form of payment. But he admitted it would be “unusual”.

“The president has his own opinion on some of these things… Nothing is in the cement here. We haven’t even had all the offers and everything that goes with them. It is not due until mid-September, ”he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. It may be there, or the charge may not be there. ”

Disclosure: Larry Kudlow is a former CNBC contributor.

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