Monday, 21 May, 2018


Peter Navarro and Steven Mnuchin feuded at Beijing trade talks

China US Trade US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin | AP
Bennie Garza | 17 May, 2018, 06:33

Boeing case opens door to tariffs on EU Senate Democrats urge Trump to focus on USA over China Washington celebrates Bret Baier's new book MORE, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE, and additional senior officials would meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday.

Mr Peter Navarro, who was seen as having a more dominant role with the departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn over trade issues, was left off the list, although the statement said, "Additional senior administration Officials will also participate".

Two top trade advisers to President Donald Trump had an expletive packed-shouting match during their trip to Beijing earlier this month, three people familiar with the exchange said, part of an ongoing turf war that's dividing the team negotiating new trade arrangements with China.

He added that, "We have not seen China's demands yet".

Navarro had initially been excluded from the negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He over concerns about his behavior on a trip to Beijing two weeks ago as part of the trade delegation, two administration officials said.

Navarro, 68, who once published a book entitled "Death by China", has always been hostile to the country.

Little progress was made during the meeting, though White House officials were hoping to make more progress during new talks this week.

U.S. -Chinese trade relations are on shaky ground.

Versions of their disagreement were first reported Wednesday by Bloomberg and Axios.

The Trump administration slapped $50 billion tariff package targeting China over last month what it says are unfair trade practices, with 25 percent tariffs being leveled on imports of Chinese electronics, shoes, furniture and other goods.

But there have been signs China is seeking to add a number of unrelated measures to the trade talks, and Trump has shown a willingness to entertain them.

"The officials said Navarro wasn't a team player when the US sent a delegation led by Mnuchin earlier this month to Beijing to meet with Liu", according to Bloomberg. White House officials knew that China wanted restrictions to be loosened, but the fate of this company had not been part of the White House's original negotiating platform.

Navarro wasn't listed among the US officials who will take part in this week's talks in a statement released by the White House earlier Wednesday.

His shift away from a lead role in the talks now comes amid a growing rift over trade policy with Mnuchin, who has favored more achievable deals to open China's economy to United States firms and ease tariff threats, Reuters noted.

China hit back with its own tariffs shortly after.

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