US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead trade talks with China due to take place on Thursday (May 17) and Friday as the countries try to head off a trade war. There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe.
Following a Bloomberg News report Wednesday that Navarro had been excluded, the White House official - speaking on condition of anonymity - said that Navarro would indeed participate.
President Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro will take part in talks this week with China's top economic envoy aimed at defusing a brewing trade war with the USA, a White House official said, indicating a shift from earlier plans.
He added that, "We have not seen China's demands yet".
Little progress was made during the meeting, though White House officials were hoping to make more progress during new talks this week.
Bloomberg reported that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was sidelined from the talks in part because of recent behavior that anonymous administration officials describe as "erratic and unprofessional".
U.S. -Chinese trade relations are on shaky ground.
He later clarified his remarks on Monday, saying the remarks are part of ongoing trade negotiations with China and "my personal relationship with President Xi". He co-authored a 2011 book entitled "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - a Global Call to Action", which focused on his perceptions of China's economic policies.
Despite Navarro's struggles internally, he has found himself with a bigger seat at the table since earlier this year, when he was promoted to the position of assistant to the President, coming at a time when Trump has dug back into his nationalist trade instincts. A senior White House official and a source familiar with the matter said Navarro is not now expected to take part in the talks.
Trump has called for a dramatic reduction in the gap between the amount of goods that China exports to the USA and the amount of goods the US exports to China (the gap is now around $370 billion a year).
His shift away from a lead role in the talks now comes amid a growing rift over trade policy with Mnuchin, who has favored more achievable deals to open China's economy to U.S. firms and ease tariff threats, Reuters noted.
"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. An administration official confirmed Mnuchin and Liu added one-on-one meetings to the schedule during the trip, but said no team meetings were scrapped as a result.
The United States and China will resume trade talks on Thursday in a bid to avert a damaging tariff war, Reuters reports, citing senior Trump administration officials.