China Hawk Peter Navarro Will Not Be Excluded from Trade Talks

White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China leaves a hotel in Beijing

Earlier on Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump tweeted that he will wait to see the demands put forth by China with respect to bilateral trade.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer will lead the American delegation in talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington, according to the report.

He also said, "There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe". The two argued the team's internal dynamic and whether it was functioning adequately. But another senior White House official said that while the three men won't be part of the official delegation, they will participate in the negotiations. The White House official said Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, will attend as well. Navarro and Mnuchin previously feuded over other trade actions, such as the steel and aluminum import tariffs Trump ultimately implemented.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

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

Navarro and Mnuchin had an angry exchange on the Beijing trip and ties were so strained some participants openly wondered how they would get along on the same plane on the long U.S.

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Navarro, 68, who once published a book entitled "Death by China", has always been hostile to the country. Last year, some White House economic advisers sought to keep Navarro away from the president until Trump reportedly began asking for him during high level meetings. But as the China discussions have intensified, Navarro and Mnuchin have been warring behind the scenes, with Mnuchin asserting himself as the key interlocutor and Navarro finding himself boxed out.

The Washington talks will start as USTR finishes up public hearings on the first batch of USA tariffs on $50-billion worth of Chinese goods proposed as punishment for alleged violations of US intellectual rights.

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.

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 US sanctions.

The Commerce Department in April imposed such severe restrictions on ZTE that the firm could have been forced to close, enraging Chinese leaders. The officials would not elaborate on Navarro's behavior. Liu's visit to Washington is meant to defuse the conflict.

"The officials said Navarro wasn't a team player when the USA sent a delegation led by Mnuchin earlier this month to Beijing to meet with Liu", according to Bloomberg. But the status of these meetings remains in flux, one senior administration official said, and more names could be added, particularly if Trump intervenes.

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