US Lawmakers Say They Pressed Xi Aide on China's Unfair Trade Practices

US Lawmakers Say They Pressed Xi Aide on China's Unfair Trade Practices

The White House said Wednesday that top trade adviser Peter Navarro, a staunch anti-China member of President Donald Trump's economic team, will take part in Thursday's meeting between Trump administration officials and Vice Premier Liu He, China's top economic official.

The talks will start as USTR finishes up public hearings on the first batch of U.S. tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods proposed as punishment for alleged violations of USA intellectual rights.

Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told Breitbart News during Monday's press briefing that China's "decades of unfair trade practices - forced technology transfers and the like" were part of the Beijing trade talks. The two are seen here in March at a White House ceremony with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, second from left, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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 USA firms and ease tariff threats, Reuters noted.

A major rift has opened up between Trump's hardline trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, according to five sources familiar with their encounters. A senior White House official and a source familiar with the matter said Navarro is not now expected to take part in the talks.

The lawmakers said the meeting did not address Trump's pledge on Sunday to help Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp get back in business after a Commerce Department ban cut off its supply of USA components.

The comments followed Mr Trump's surprise announcement on Sunday that the administration was exploring ways to soften the blow from a ban on exporting crucial U.S. technology to the company, which Washington says violated sanctions and misled United States officials.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday.

He is Chinese President Xi Jinping's top trade official and was involved in Beijing-based talks with the US trade delegation two weeks ago. He also said, "There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe". "The meetings haven't even started yet!"

"From the two documents that were exchanged a couple of weeks ago, they seem pretty far apart, and we don't know what revised offers have been made at this point or if they've narrowed or changed the list".

The company faced collapse as a result and Mr Trump said on Sunday he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were exploring ways to get the company "back into business fast", and ordered the Commerce Department to take action.

The U.S. congressmen said that formal talks with the administration were due to begin on Thursday. The administration has been adamant that they need to see "concrete" actions from the Chinese if they hope to avoid potential new US tariffs on Chinese imports that would address China's unfair trade practices and stealing of intellectual property.