Navarro to be excluded from China talks, report says

China US Trade

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin | AP

The author of a controversial book and film, "Death by China", he has been a key architect of Republican President Donald Trump's tougher stance on China trade and has advocated punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.

China's Vice Premier Liu He leads the trade delegation from Beijing.

According to Liu, a healthy China-US relationship is in the interests of both sides, who have a great deal in common.

Despite speculation he wouldn't partake in high-level trade talks with a Chinese delegation on Thursday, the White House said he would. Liu concluded by saying that China values the role of the US Congress and is willing to strengthen its communication with the institution.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy and Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon for economic and trade consultations with the US side at the invitation of the USA government.

The two officials said that Peter Navarro, the White House trade and manufacturing adviser, will not be a principal player on the US side.

Navarro is among a group of White House advisers who have fought for structural changes in Beijing that will ensure long-lasting adjustments in the trade imbalance between the United States and China.

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

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

One person close to Navarro said the White House official believes he is the target of a leak campaign meant to further sideline him during the Liu visit, at perhaps the most pivotal moment in the trade talks between the USA and China. -China trading relationship, according to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. Navarro also anxious that Mnuchin is leading the administration down the wrong path on trade with China, said the source briefed on the trip.

Trump on Monday had defended his decision to revisit penalties on ZTE for flouting US sanctions on trade with Iran, in part by saying it was reflective of the larger trade deal the United States is negotiating with China.

"ZTE not only violated USA sanctions law (by selling US telecoms equipment to Iran and North Korea), but then repeatedly lied about steps it would take to remedy the problems", the senators said.

Close to 125 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the hearings, which conclude on Thursday, in a sign of the concern in the US business community over the administration's move. "The meetings haven't even started yet!" Tensions between the two nations have increased as Trump imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and the Chinese retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Liu met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, many of whom do not support Trump's vow to impose tariffs on China if they don't change their approach to trade. Additionally, lawmakers took the Chinese to task for alleged transfers of U.S. intellectual property to Chinese firms.

Before the delegation's arrival, a Chinese working group arrived in the United States last week and engaged in intense consultations with the US side. "So, it's really hard to know at this point what to expect from an outcome because it could be anything - or nothing, I guess", she said.

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