Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

'Death by China' Navarro said to be kicked out of trade talks

'Death by China' Navarro said to be kicked out of trade 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.

The comments followed Mr Trump's surprise announcement on Sunday that the administration was exploring ways to soften the blow from a ban on exporting crucial U.S. technology to the company, which Washington says violated sanctions and misled United States officials. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fight erupted when senior White House adviser Peter Navarro complained to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about being excluded from key meetings with Chinese leaders, the three people said.

"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".

Navarro wasn't listed among the USA officials who will take part in this week's talks in a statement released by the White House earlier Wednesday. -China trade imbalance and other problems with the trading relationship. An administration official confirmed Mnuchin and Liu added one-on-one meetings to the schedule during the trip, but said no team meetings were scrapped as a result.

"He recognizes there are problems in this trade relationship", Brady said of Liu after the meeting.

U.S. -Chinese trade relations are on shaky ground. Liu frequently addressed lawmakers' concerns by saying that China was in the middle of an effort to reform its economy and open it up to more foreign competition.

Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said after a meeting with Liu that he doubted the Chinese would agree to steps that would warrant backing off the tariff threat. For example, during the Beijing trip, Chinese officials pressed Mnuchin and others to relax restrictions on ZTE Corp., a controversial Chinese telecommunications company that has violated US law.

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They were in Beijing as part of an official visit, trying to deliver on Trump's demand that China make dramatic changes in its trade policy.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump earlier on Wednesday denied caving in to China over U.S. sanctions on the telecoms equipment maker ZTE.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Mr Trump said on Twitter.

He added that, "We have not seen China's demands yet". The U.S. has very little to give, because it has given so much over the years.

Navarro has much more strident views on China's trade history, ones that Trump has often agreed with.

Trump tweeted his support for ZTE earlier this week, putting the president at odds with the Commerce Department and its decision to impose trade restrictions on the company amid allegations it violated USA sanctions.

The ban has caused ZTE to cease operations, and Trump on Sunday tweeted that he had instructed the Commerce Department to take steps that would restore ZTE's ability to operate.

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