UPDATE: Trump, Navarro Clarify China Trade Deal Still Intact Just Hours After Navarro Spooks Markets in Fox News Interview
White House adviser Peter Navarro abruptly announced that the China trade deal “over,” blaming the unraveling of the Trump administration’s top foreign economic achievement on that country’s deception over the coronavirus outbreak.
During a Monday evening appearance on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum, the Trump trade adviser said that China would be a major issue in the 2020 election. Navarro then listed a number of aggressive or highly condemned acts by the Chinese Communist Party, but cautioned against listening to former Trump National Security Advisor — and newly-minted Trump critic — John Bolton in fighting back against the party.
“Here’s the important difference between John Bolton and Donald J. Trump,” Navarro said. “Bolton is like this Strangelove throwback of the ’50, kinetic warfare: ‘Bomb Iran, bomb this, bomb that.’ What President Trump understands is that we are in a sophisticated environment where it is economic warfare where the tariffs come into play.”
“China attacked us with the economic aggression and also information warfare,” he added. “Trying to say that we created the virus not them, and trying to basically say that their authoritarian system that is better than ours.”
Based on that alleged misconduct and deception on the part of Beijing, MacCallum pressed Navarro on whether the Trump administration can expect China to live up to its end of the trade deal.
“Do you think that the president, sort of — I mean, he obviously really wanted to hang onto the trade deal as much as possible,” MacCallum said. “And he wanted them to make good on the promises, because there has been progress on the trade deal, but given the things you listed, is that over?”
“It’s over, yes,” Navarro proclaimed, in a stunning admission more than two years after the president famously declared “Trade wars are good and easy to win.” Navarro then cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the “turning point” in the undoing of the trade deal. “[Chinese officials] came here on January 15th to sign that trade deal, and that was a full two months after they knew the virus was out and about,” he said. “It was a time when they had already sent hundreds of thousands of people to this country to spread that virus, and it was just minutes after wheels up when that plane took off that we began to hear about this pandemic. And I think that everybody here inside the perimeter and around this country now understand that China lied and Americans died.”
Navarro’s comments quickly spooked the U.S. futures markets, similar to previous instances of economic saber-rattling by the Trump White House.
Dow futures sharply drop 340 points after top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the China trade deal “is over” because of how China informed the U.S. about coronavirus https://t.co/32oxbWlmpq pic.twitter.com/7QIFN4EZbr
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) June 23, 2020
Axios White House correspondent Jonathan Swan followed up with Trump White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on the bombshell news, who put the kibosh on Navarro’s bombshell news.
New: Just got off phone with President Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow. He said it’s totally false that China trade talks are off https://t.co/Bk0JLiiD3d
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 23, 2020
And then, in a full 180º of his trade adviser’s claims three hours earlier, Trump declared the trade deal “fully intact.”
The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Watch the video above, via Fox News.
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