Peter Navarro open to higher tariffs on China

President Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro says if issues with China aren't resolved during the 90-day negotiating period, the administration would raise existing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Posted: Dec 8, 2018 3:16 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2018 3:25 PM

President Donald Trump has expressed anxiety about a dismal streak for the stock market over the past several days, telling advisers he is surprised a tentative deal he struck with Chinese President Xi Jinping hasn't gone over well with Wall Street, according to a person who has spoken with him.

Ahead of Trump's meeting with Xi, held on Saturday evening in Argentina, some of Trump's top advisers told him the shaky markets were partly due to unease over a brewing trade war with China. That left Trump hungry to strike some sort of deal with Xi, people familiar with the matter said.

When the two leaders' agreement was announced on Saturday, Trump felt confident it would help stabilize markets -- and it did, for one day.

But the rest of the week has been marked by volatility and steadily lower market closes. Markets fell 559 points Friday amid growing investor anxiety over conflicting signals from top White House advisers about whether Trump still plans to hike tariffs further if negotiations with China go south. The Dow closed down 1,150 points, or 4.5%, for the week.

Contrary to some his advisers, Trump remains confident his combative China policy is not roiling markets; instead, he's blamed the Federal Reserve. He has told people this week his agreement with Xi will eventually be seen as historic.

But he's nonetheless revealed some angst over the past days that his China steps did not prove more stabilizing, and expressed concern that extended losses could damage him politically.

The President has stepped in to pump up his deal, opening Friday with a tweet asserting, "China talks are going very well!"

Also Friday morning, Larry Kudlow, director of Trump's National Economic Council, said in an appearance on CNBC that Trump has indicated he might be willing to extend the current 90-day negotiating window if there's "good, solid movement and good action."

But China trade adviser Peter Navarro, the trade hawk of the White House, struck a different tone on CNN. Asked whether the administration would walk away if issues with China are not resolved within 90 days, Navarro suggested Trump would "simply raise" existing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"We have a president that's going to stand up to that for once," Navarro said.

That triggered the market turn. It was an echo of Tuesday, when Trump himself undercut confidence in his own deal by issuing threats on Twitter.

"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will," Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped nearly 800 points Tuesday as investors realized that the agreement between Trump and Xi may not stave off hostilities for long.

A frustrated President asked aides what had happened, and has worked to convey optimism since then.

The White House says the deal with Xi will see China buy large amounts of US agricultural produce to close the trade deficit and includes an agreement by Beijing to curtail the flow of fentanyl, a powerful opioid, into the US.

In return, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise all current tariffs to 25% on January 1.

But details about the likelihood of progress and specifics of the agreement have been slim.

News the US requested the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada on December 1, the day of the Trump-Xi dinner, has only added to concerns a trade war with Beijing will continue.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 1660
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Hennepin18197820
Ramsey7047261
Dakota4049103
Anoka3410113
Stearns284220
Washington193843
Nobles17496
Olmsted163523
Scott141017
Mower10842
Rice10028
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Carver7922
Clay75240
Kandiyohi6771
Sherburne6577
St. Louis45319
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3551
Steele3331
Nicollet32013
Benton3103
Watonwan2990
Winona24916
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2021
Beltrami2000
Chisago1821
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Goodhue1778
Cottonwood1730
Becker1471
Pipestone1439
McLeod1400
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Itasca13412
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Waseca1300
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Murray1221
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Chippewa991
Brown852
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Lincoln540
Swift521
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Norman370
Hubbard320
Redwood320
Marshall290
Kanabec281
Wilkin283
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Mahnomen241
Wadena230
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Red Lake200
Lake180
Stevens160
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Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 46100

Reported Deaths: 887
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9781203
Woodbury365651
Black Hawk302262
Linn214587
Johnson195915
Dallas179635
Buena Vista178612
Scott161512
Dubuque154929
Marshall139424
Pottawattamie122723
Story111714
Wapello85032
Muscatine83048
Webster7366
Crawford7213
Sioux6022
Cerro Gordo57917
Tama53929
Warren5341
Jasper45825
Wright4441
Plymouth4438
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3213
Washington28810
Hamilton2411
Boone2312
Franklin2256
Bremer1927
Clarke1883
Carroll1821
Emmet1812
Clay1711
Shelby1691
Hardin1660
Marion1550
Allamakee1504
Poweshiek1508
Benton1451
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1312
Guthrie1285
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1152
Buchanan1141
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1060
Madison1052
Clayton993
Cherokee981
Harrison980
Lee973
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware911
Iowa901
Monona900
Winneshiek861
Mills830
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Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Kossuth780
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Jefferson770
Winnebago770
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Page760
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Union721
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Cass481
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Greene380
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