Trump says Wilbur Ross is ‘past his prime’: report
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE has reportedly bashed Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossJudge rejects DOJ effort to delay House lawsuit against Barr, Ross Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Space race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector MORE as being "past his prime" amid tensions within the administration over trade negotiations with China in recent weeks. 

Trump's remarks toward the 80-year-old agency head come as Trump has reportedly kept Ross sidelined for key talks with China, according to Politico

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Though Trump once hailed his longtime friend Ross, a billionaire investor and trade magnate, as a champion of America-first trade policies, he now says Ross is "no longer a killer." 

Ross is still working with the president on some trade issues, but Trump has reportedly largely bypassed the secretary in top-priority negotiations, and Ross was initially not invited to a May summit with Chinese trade officials led by Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown MORE, multiple sources told Politico. 

Ross is still working on tasks such as researching potential foreign car tariffs.