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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow defended President Donald Trump's institution of tariffs against Chinese goods, to which Beijing has responded in kind.

Kudlow said Trump does not want a "trade war" and is instead showing that America has lost out due to "unfair and illegal trading practices."

"Blame China, don't blame President Trump. Trump's the solution," Kudlow, a former chief economist at Bear Stearns and a longtime business news anchor, said.

Neil Cavuto, who noted he has known Kudlow for decades, told the Englewood, N.J. native that there is "no way" that Trump is a "free-trader."

Kudlow disagreed, saying that Trump knows the "path to free trade" is through correcting illegal practices by China and others.

"They're closing markets," he said. "They're not playing by the rules."

Kudlow said Trump is seeking a "pot of gold" on the "other side of the rainbow... that is economic growth."

"[That] sure sounds like a trade war to me," Cavuto said.

Watch more above.

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