Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Navarro blasts Wall Street interference

‘FOREIGN AGENTS’:The White House adviser said executives who had called for an end to the US-China trade dispute had weakened Donald Trump’s negotiating position

Reuters, WASHINGTON

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro on Friday lashed out at efforts by current and former Wall Street executives to urge the US and China to end their trade dispute, calling them “unregistered foreign agents,” who were trying to pressure US President Donald Trump into a deal.

“When these unpaid foreign agents engage in this kind of diplomacy, so-called diplomacy, all they do is weaken this president and his negotiating position,” Navarro said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“No good can come of this. If there is a deal — if and when there is a deal — it will be on President Donald J. Trump’s terms, not Wall Street terms,” he added.

Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Buenos Aires at the end of this month on the sidelines of a G20 leaders summit to discuss a possible way out of their trade war.

In recent days, Trump has said he believed that he and Xi can reach a deal.

Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) on Friday said that the US-China trade war could be resolved through talks and that any ongoing conflict would hurt both countries.

As the US-China dispute escalated, executives such as Blackstone Group LP chief executive officer Stephen Schwarzman and Henry Paulson, the former US Secretary of the Treasury and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc chairman, have met with officials on both sides to press for a resolution.

Paulson, in remarks in Singapore on Wednesday, said a new “economic Iron Curtain” was being erected between the US and China that would undo the benefits of globalization.

“Unless these broader and deeper issues are addressed, we are in for a long winter in US-China relations,” Paulson told an economic forum.

Navarro said he believed such efforts by Wall Street were not needed by Trump and were counterproductive.

“I would again say: ‘Wall Street, get out of those negotiations,’” Navarro said. “Bring your Goldman Sachs money to Dayton, Ohio, and invest in America. The president of the United States does not need shuttle diplomacy,” Navarro said.

Asked if he thought the Trump-Xi meeting would lead to a deal or the start of broader talks, Navarro said such negotiations were “not my lane,” and would be led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

However, Navarro expressed skepticism about whether a deal with China was possible, adding that, in the past, Beijing has never acknowledged US concerns about lack of market access, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair state subsidies.

“The game that China has played — and they played people in the Bush administration like a violin — is to do the tap dance of economic dialogue,” Navarro said. “They want to get us to the bargaining table, sound reasonable and talk their way, while they keep having their way with us.”

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