Tensions erupt among Trump trade officials ahead of China talks

White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China leaves a hotel in Beijing

Tensions erupt among Trump trade officials ahead of China talks

Navarro's strong anti-China views and skepticism of free trade helped to build Trump's early economic agenda.

Liu is leading China's trade delegation in the United States this week according to a release from the White House detailing this week's meetings.

According to Liu, a healthy China-US relationship is in the interests of both sides, who have a great deal in common. 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. Liu concluded by saying that China values the role of the US Congress and is willing to strengthen its communication with the institution.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will lead the U.S. delegation in talks with Liu.

Bloomberg reported that Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump's hardline anti-China trade adviser, has behaved "erratically and unprofessionally" and was unhelpful during a recent trade trip to Beijing.

At the urging of Navarro and other China critics in the administration, the U.S.is poised to hit China with billions of dollars in tariffs after an investigation in which China was accused of forcefully transferring sensitive technology and intellectual property from US companies.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump said on Twitter.

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Mnuchin will lead discussions with Liu, along with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, at the Treasury Department offices in Washington on Thursday and Friday, the White House said in a statement.

"I urged the Chinese vice premier to seize this moment in time to address these lasting concerns and to continue to grow this relationship in a more fair way", said Kevin Brady, the Republican chair of the House Ways and Means Committee that oversees trade issues.

US lawmakers on Tuesday rejected any plan by Trump to ease restrictions on ZTE, calling the company a security threat and vowing not to abandon the Commerce Department ruling banning sales of American components and software to the company for violating terms of a sanctions settlement deal. The official confirmed that Navarro will be among those participating in the trade meetings this week.

China has counterpunched by targeting $50 billion in USA products.

The U.S. congressmen said that formal talks with the administration were due to begin on Thursday. The Chinese company has been crippled by a USA decision to cut off its access to key components from American suppliers for making false statements in a sanctions case.

Liu met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, many of whom do not support Trump's vow to impose tariffs on China if they don't change their approach to trade. "The meetings haven't even started yet!" Additionally, lawmakers took the Chinese to task for alleged transfers of United States intellectual property to Chinese firms.

"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".

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