Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat participated in the USA trade delegation in China.
Trump's reversal was condemned by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and raised questions about whether the president was softening his approach in trade negotiations with China.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer will lead the American delegation in talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington, according to the report.
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Kudlow told Breitbart News Saturday radio listeners last weekend that the team never expected to leave China with a trade deal but that talks did go more positively than some media outlets have reported. Navarro also anxious that Mnuchin is leading the administration down the wrong path on trade with China, said the source briefed on the trip. The U.S. has very little to give, because it has given so much over the years.
Update: Navarro reportedly blew up at Mnuchin two weeks ago over the decision to participate in the China talks.
USA officials initially told the Chinese that they'd be open to granting some relief from the pending tariffs in exchange for a commitment to reduce the trade deficit with China by $200 billion over two years, according to an administration official.
Chinese officials signaled their distaste for Navarro, author of a book titled "Death by China", according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Liu is now in Washington for meetings and is expected to meet with White House officials Thursday and Friday.
Trump has called for a dramatic reduction in the gap between the amount of goods that China exports to the US and the amount of goods the USA exports to China (the gap is now around $370 billion a year).
Navarro was smiling after the steel and aluminum tariffs. Tensions between the two nations have increased as Trump imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and the Chinese retaliated with tariffs of their own. -China trade imbalance and other problems with the trading relationship. "The meetings haven't even started yet!"
Meanwhile, Trump earlier on Wednesday denied caving to China over USA sanctions on the telecoms equipment maker ZTE. Additionally, lawmakers took the Chinese to task for alleged transfers of U.S. intellectual property to Chinese firms. "So, it's really hard to know at this point what to expect from an outcome because it could be anything - or nothing, I guess", she said.