White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday said the Trump administration is moving forward with "measured" penalties against China despite concerns that implementing tariffs could spark a trade war.
"We're moving forward on a measured way with tariffs, with investment restrictions," Navarro said on NBC's "Meet The Press."
"What we want from China is very clear," he continued. "We want fair and reciprocal trade. We want them to stop stealing our stuff. We want them to guard intellectual property, not take it from us."
Navarro added that the Trump administration views China as both an economic competitor and a national security threat since it impacts industries that produce military equipment.
The Trump administration and China have traded threats in recent weeks over potential tariffs. After the U.S. unveiled a list of $50 billion in potential tariffs on Chinese products, Beijing responded with plans to implement billions of dollars in reciprocal penalties on U.S. soybeans, cars and other items.
President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE then ratcheted up his rhetoric, saying his administration would consider an additional $100 billion in penalties on Chinese products.
The back-and-forth has prompted concerns that Trump will spark a global trade war and hurt American workers, and farmers in particular.
Navarro noted that Trump has appointed Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueSonny PerdueTrump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The hero of Jan. 6 whose name must not be spoken With soaring demand for meat, it's time to fund animal-free protein research MORE to implement a plan to defend American farmers from potential negative effects of any tariffs. However, details of such a plan will be released down the road, he said.
Trump on Sunday morning touted his friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping but vowed that Beijing will remove its “trade barriers because it is the right thing to do."
China has said it does not want a trade war, but is not afraid of responding to any American tariffs.