Anyone critical of President Donald Trump congratulating China on their 70th anniversary of communist rule needs to look in the mirror, because no one hits China harder, according to White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro on Newsmax TV.
"The president has a warm friendship with President XI Jinping," Navarro told Wednesday's "Newsmax Now." "He also knows when it's time for the football game to start on the field, he puts his helmet on and hits him as hard as he can. So, that was just a courtesy.
"But, look, the only person who stood up to China over the last 30 years has been who? President Donald J. Trump.
"He's been tough as nails, steely resolve on behalf of the American worker, on behalf of the American people, on behalf of the families who lost loved ones to made in China fentanyl. So, these Republicans on Capitol Hill, or Democrats, whoever wants to criticize President Trump ought to look in the mirror and ask themselves where they've been for the last 20 years."
When asked by host John Bachman about President Trump's trade dispute with China having an effect on a sagging economy, Navarro demurred.
"The Fed is driving us crazy here in that they just don't see the chess board," Navarro said, arguing the Federal Reserve's interest-rate policies have hurt U.S. economic growth, not trade negotiations or tariffs.
"In terms of this rhetoric about trade war, trade dispute, John, this really isn't about trade per se, it's about what I've called the seven deadly sins: It's the structural issues that we're dealing with China," he added, pointing out the seven issues the administration is pressing China to change under his direction:
- Cyber hacking.
- Intellectual property theft.
- Forced technology transfer.
- Goods trade imbalance.
- China state-owned subsidies.
- Currency manipulation.
- Sending fentanyl to kill countless Americans.
"This is not a [just] trade deal – this is a big deal," Navarro said, adding there was nearly a deal agreed upon this summer before China backed out on some of the above.
Bachman asked whether reticence for a deal is a strategic decision by China to wait for the 2020 presidential election result and a Democratic president who might be more "compliant" with China's trade practices.
"To be clear, anybody besides President Donald J. Trump would be more compliant by definition," Navarro said. "They've consistently miscalculated in the negotiation. They consistently underestimated the steely resolve of President Trump.
"Because they simply will not do, basically, what needs to be done, which is to solve those structural issues.
"When push came to shove, the Chinese backed away," he added. "Was that a miscalculation? Were they waiting for November 2020 to get some softy from the Democratic Party? I don't know. But all I can tell you is, they're coming to town next week, and we'll see what their tune's going to be."
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