Trump's Trade Adviser Peter Navarro Reportedly Cursed Out Mnuchin in Heated Argument

Elias Hubbard
May 17, 2018

Now it seems, the rift is continuing to simmer and while Mnuchin will be attending Thursday's talks with China's top trade negotiator Liu He, Navarro will not there, leading to concerns that under Mnuchin's increased role, punishing tariffs for China may be reduced.

"Ross - whom Trump once affectionately called a 'killer, ' a high compliment in the president's lexicon - has steadily become a bit player, with the president regularly leaning on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro".

The White House did not list Navarro, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow or Everett Eissenstat, the NEC's deputy director for global economics, on the list of principal participants for the talks.

The US has threatened to impose 25 per cent punitive duties on up to US$150 billion (S$201.04 billion) in Chinese goods, while China has targeted US$50 billion in American exports.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead the talks with Liu in Washington on Thursday and Friday.

The tariffs, which target Chinese electrical and machinery part, autos and flat-screen television sets, could take effect in early June, and may be followed by an additional round targeting $100-billion worth of Chinese goods yet to be identified.

China has promised to retaliate in equal measure, targeting U.S. soybeans, aircraft, autos and other goods for additional tariffs.

As reported by the Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, Liu a member of Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee led a delegation of economists and engaged in intense trade talks with the US.

Post the culmination of third California-China Business Summit both countries agreed on resolving economic and trade issues through dialogue and deliberation.

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.

"He recognizes there are problems in this trade relationship", Brady said of Liu after the meeting. "And his hope for this trip was to begin to address the trade imbalance, increasing demand of Chinese consumers for USA products, as well as to begin to take steps on the structural reforms".

Liu left the meeting with several other Chinese officials without speaking to reporters.

"They are certainly mindful of impending threats of tariffs", Neal said.

Trump said earlier today there has been "no folding" in his negotiations as he addresses his efforts to help a Chinese telecommunications company that violated USA sanctions.

The news comes after US President Donald Trump asked his twitter followers to "stay tuned" for news on the trade talks, following a suggestion via tweet that he would try to ease penalties slapped on Chinese telecoms firm ZTE.

"We have not seen China's demands yet, which should be few in that previous U.S. Administrations have done so poorly in negotiating". The U.S. has very little to give, because it has given so much over the years.

USA lawmakers on Tuesday rejected any plan by Trump to ease restrictions on ZTE, calling the company a security threat and vowing not to abandon the Commerce Department ruling banning sales of American components and software to the company for violating terms of a sanctions settlement deal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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