Kudlow describes U.S. trade dispute with Canada as 'family quarrel'

U.S. senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow calls his country's trade dispute with Canada little more than a ``family quarrel'' amid media reports of a tense phone exchange between U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Kudlow tells a news conference in Washington that similar disputes occur between countries all the time, and he's confident that the current angst over President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs will soon blow over.

Kudlow, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, says regardless of what the rest of the world might think, Trump is deadly serious about reforming a global trade system he believes is fundamentally broken.

He says tariffs are simply one more tool in the president's toolbox when it comes to repairing it.

Kudlow also pointedly denied a media report suggesting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tried to talk the president into extending an exemption for Canada from the steel tariffs, calling it ``patently false.''

He also refused to discuss what media reports are describing as a tense phone call recently between Trump and Trudeau.