Peter Navarro flares up again, and then is doused with reality from the president
President Donald Trump via a tweet at 10:22 p.m. ET put out a Navarro fire re: the Phase 1 accord with China: “The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!”
Background: It's been a while since White House advisor Peter Navarro raised his usual ruckus, but that is what he did following a brief appearance with Fox News' anchor Martha MacCallum, noting that the president wanted to maintain the agreement and ensure that China made good on its commitments. “But given everything that’s happened and all the things you just listed, is that over?” she asked. “It’s over. Yes,” Navarro, a frequent critic of China, responded. As stock futures plunged, Navarro quickly sought to clarify his comments, telling the Wall Street Journal they had been “taken wildly out of context.”
“They had nothing at all to do with the Phase 1 trade deal, which continues in place,” Navarro said. “I was simply speaking to the lack of trust we now have of the Chinese Communist Party after they lied about the origins of the China virus and foisted a pandemic upon the world.”
Navarro's second take reflected comments made last week before Congress by U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer who said the trade deal shows no signs of weakening despite differences between the two nations over the coronavirus pandemic, China’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s autonomy and China’s falling behind on purchases of U.S. goods. “Every indication is that in spite of this Covid-19, they are going to do what they say,” Lighthizer said.
From China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of Navarro: "He consistently lies and has no honesty and trustworthiness.” As for the Phase 1 agreement, Zhao told reporters at a briefing, "China's stance on the issue has been consistent and clear."