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 2:59 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115088

Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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