Executive Intelligence Review


A Trump Faction Wants To Settle Trade Issue with China

June 24, 2018 (EIRNS)—There are several signs that some officials and economists in the Trump Administration, along with U.S. business leaders, are trying—with unknown chances of success—to reach a negotiated settlement to the trade dispute with China, before tariffs begin to take effect July 6.

A Bloomberg article June 22 reported that National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and some economic experts in the National Economic Council want to get a negotiation going quickly with China, rather than impose the tariffs July 6. This represents a factional situation against U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade advisor Peter Navarro, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross perhaps on the “negotiate” side. Ross told a Senate Committee June 20 “there are already some signs that we may get an ultimate solution,” referring to China having suggested another round of negotiations.

Bloomberg reported,

“Staff of the National Economic Council have contacted former U.S. government officials and China experts in recent days to gauge chances for high-level talks in the next two weeks.... One idea NEC staff floated was inviting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan before the tariff deadline, they said.”

The South China Morning Post on June 23 reported,

“In Beijing, Vice-Minister for Commerce Wang Shouwen, a key negotiator in the talks, held a two-hour meeting on Wednesday [June 20] with the American Chamber of Commerce in China, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. It was the first time in several months that such a senior official had met representatives of the influential lobby group, one of the sources said.”

But the SCMP report stressed that all formal discussions, government to government on any level, are now suspended.