Top Trump trade officials still at odds after shouting match in Beijing

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

One person close to Navarro said the White House official believes he is the target of a leak campaign meant to further sideline him during the Liu visit, at perhaps the most pivotal moment in the trade talks between the USA and China.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, a China trade hawk, was initially excluded from the negotiations, according to two administration officials.

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.

What we're hearing: On the Trump delegation's trip to China two weeks ago, Navarro "blew up" at Mnuchin over his decision to participate in one-on-one talks with his Chinese counterpart Liu He.

They also discussed the issue of increasing USA trade exports to China, bilateral trade service, two-way investment, protection of intellectual property rights and imbalanced tariff rates. The White House pinned focus of the talks to "rebalancing the United States-China bilateral economic relationship". The author of a controversial book and film, "Death by China", he has been a key architect of Republican President Donald Trump's tougher stance on China trade and has advocated punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.

The unresolved feud has contributed the White House's uneven approach to its trade negotiations with China in recent days, as White House officials have given different, at time contradictory descriptions about what the discussions' aims and about what is and what isn't up for debate. He tweeted that he was directing the Commerce Department to ease a seven-year ban on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE doing business with US companies because he was concerned about too many Chinese jobs being lost.

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Commerce Secretary Ross has said twice in the past week that the two sides had exchanged detailed lists of demands. China has counterpunched by targeting $50 billion in US products.

"It's China's responsibility to change its policies that are harming American businesses and workers and I am committed to continuing to work with them and the administration to help improve the US-China bilateral trade relationship", Hatch said.

China also wants the United States to back off its threat to impose tariffs on $50 billion to $150 billion of Chinese goods, ease controls on exports of high-technology goods to China and reduce barriers to Chinese investment. In retaliation to that China threatened to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of USA exports.

The U.S. congressmen said that formal talks with the administration were due to begin on Thursday.

Liu told one group of House lawmakers in a meeting Wednesday that he "recognizes there are problems" in the U.S. "The pain in China would be widespread", he said. Asked if the Trump administration will move forward with proposed levies on Chinese goods, Hatch said "I think they will go into effect".

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

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