Trump ad­viser: No quick end to China trade war

Navarro says ‘trust is­sues’ are caus­ing lack of progress.

Dayton Daily News - - NATION & WORLD - By Heather Long

Trump trade ad­viser Pe­ter Navarro said Fri­day that “trust is­sues” with China are re­spon­si­ble for the lack of progress in trade ne­go­ti­a­tions, tamp­ing down hope for progress in re­solv­ing the trade war when Pres­i­dent Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping meet later this month at the G-20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina.

Navarro also ac­cused Xi of send­ing “glob­al­ist bil­lion­aires” to urge Trump to cut a bad deal to re­solve the con­flicts, say­ing the strat­egy would fail.

“The big­gest prob­lem is the trust is­sues,” said Navarro in a speech at the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies. “How do you have a deal with some­body if they won’t even ac­knowl­edge your con­cern? It’s Al­ice in Won­der­land.”

Trump has put tar­iffs on about half of all the goods China sends to the United States — ev­ery­thing from steel to toys and pet prod­ucts — and he’s threat­ened to tax ev­ery­thing China sells to the United States if Xi doesn’t make a sat­is­fac­tory deal soon.

U.S. busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives have tried to in­ter­vene to pre­vent an es­ca­la­tion of the trade war, but Navarro slammed those ef­forts and la­beled the busi­ness lead­ers do­ing it as “un­reg­is­tered for­eign agents” work­ing on be­half of China.

“Glob­al­ist bil­lion­aires are putting a full court press on the White House in ad­vance of the G-20 in Ar­gentina,” said Navarro. “They are un­reg­is­tered for­eign agents to pres­sure this pres­i­dent into some kind of deal.”

The Wash­ing­ton Post has re­ported that Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi has been meet­ing with U.S. busi­ness lead­ers to com­plain about Trump, but Navarro of­fered no ev­i­dence to back up his claim that Amer­i­can ex­ec­u­tives are ac­tively work­ing with Xi.

Navarro has been one of the top voices in the White House push­ing Trump to ramp up pres­sure on China, Eu­rope and other na­tions to rec­tify what he sees as years of for­eign na­tions raid­ing the U.S. “piggy bank.” Many econ­o­mists and busi­ness lead­ers, in­clud­ing for­mer Trump eco­nomic ad­viser Gary Cohn, have crit­i­cized Navarro for not un­der­stand­ing eco­nom­ics.

Nu­mer­ous busi­nesses have warned that the tar­iffs are start­ing to raise their cost and im­pact their bot­tom lines, but Navarro in­sists that this is a fight to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of U.S. busi­nesses and work­ers for years to come, even if it means some short­term costs. He said the Chi­nese want to get Trump to the bar­gain­ing ta­ble to “keep hav­ing their way with us” as they did with past pres­i­dents.

The Chi­nese have of­fered to buy more U.S. agri­cul­tural and en­ergy prod­ucts, but Navarro said Fri­day that isn’t enough. Dur­ing the talk, he put up a lengthy list of griev­ances about un­fair Chi­nese trade and busi­ness prac­tices on the screen be­hind him that in­cluded China steal­ing U.S. in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and ma­nip­u­lat­ing its cur­rency.

“This is not about buy­ing more soy­beans or more coal. This is struc­tural,” said Navarro. “If you took 25 things off that list, there would still be enough things to hurt us.”

Navarro, whose of­fi­cial ti­tle is as­sis­tant to the pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of trade and in­dus­trial pol­icy, said his job is to bring back blue-col­lar jobs to the United States. He called out Wall Street bank Gold­man Sachs for in­vest­ing over­seas in­stead of at home.

“Wall Street, get out of those ne­go­ti­a­tions. Go to Day­ton, Ohio. Bring your Gold­man Sachs money to Day­ton, Ohio, and in­vest in Amer­ica,” he said.

BLOOMBERG

Pe­ter Navarro called out Gold­man Sachs for in­vest­ing over­seas. “Go to Day­ton, Ohio,” he said. “Bring your money to Day­ton and in­vest in Amer­ica.”

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