White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been excluded from talks Thursday with China’s top economic envoy aimed at defusing a brewing trade war with the U.S., two administration officials said.
The Chinese official, Vice Premier Liu He, will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington. The deputy director of the National Economic Council, Everett Eissenstat, will also participate, according to the officials.
Navarro, 68, who once published a book titled “Death by China,” has long been hostile to the country. His exclusion from the meeting marks another downturn in his White House career, where he was isolated by other senior officials before the president promoted him earlier this year to his top rank of aides.
Navarro didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The administration officials said Navarro wasn’t a team player when the U.S. sent a delegation led by Mnuchin earlier this month to Beijing to meet with Liu. The officials would not elaborate on Navarro’s behavior.
President Donald Trump has proposed at least $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to punish the country for what he considers unfair trade behavior, including its acquisition of U.S. technologies. China has threatened to retaliate for the tariffs, which could be imposed after a public comment period ends May 22.
The outlook for avoiding a costly trade war between the world’s two biggest economies looked grim after Mnuchin’s China talks failed to make progress. But conditions have recently improved after Trump’s shock reversal of a ban on China’sZTE Corp. accessing American technology. Beijing praised the move.