Trump officials set for new round of China trade talks at White House

Trump officials set for new round of China trade talks at White House
© Getty Images

Trump administration officials are gearing up for a new round of trade talks with Chinese officials at the White House on Thursday after a U.S. trade delegation traveled to China earlier this month. 

The White House announced on Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTrump admin asks Supreme Court to fast-track excluding people in U.S. illegally from census Trump 'very happy' to allow TikTok to operate in US if security concerns resolved TikTok, WeChat to be banned Sunday from US app stores MORE, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE and additional senior officials would meet on Thursday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro would be excluded from the talks, but a White House official told The Hill that Navarro would be attending the meeting, along with chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Everett Eissenstat. 

Bloomberg cited administration officials who said Navarro had tensions with the economic team when the U.S. trade delegation, headed by Mnuchin, met with Chinese trade officials in Beijing earlier this month.

Axios also reported on tensions during the trip to Beijing, saying Navarro and Mnuchin had a tense exchange over Mnuchin's decision to take part in one-on-one talks with China. 

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

Navarro has expressed hawkish views on Chinese trade policies in the past, even writing a book titled "Death by China."

He said last month that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE's exchange of tariff threats with Beijing will serve as a "wake-up call" for Americans about unfair Chinese economic policies.

U.S.-Chinese trade relations have been on shaky ground in recent months. 

The Trump administration slapped a $50 billion tariff package on China last month over what it says are unfair trade practices, with 25 percent tariffs being leveled on Chinese electronics, shoes, furniture and other goods.

China hit back with its own tariffs shortly after.

Trump last weekend appeared to show support for Chinese telecommunications company ZTE after he tweeted that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get ZTE “back into business, fast.”

The Commerce Department last month banned American companies from selling components to ZTE because the Chinese firm violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to Iran. 

Trump clarified his remarks on Monday, saying the remarks are part of ongoing trade negotiations with China and “my personal relationship with President Xi.”