Updated Jun 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kudlow disputes Navarro's claims that China trade talks are off

Director of the U.S. National Economic Council Larry Kudlow speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House January 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House in January. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The president's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow disputed comments from Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, who said Monday night on Fox News the U.S.-China trade deal is "over."

Details: "The U.S. remains engaged with China over the phase one trade deal signed last January and according to trade negotiator Bob Lighthizer the deal is going well. President Trump has made similar comments just recently," Kudlow told me.

  • President Trump tweeted moments after Navarro's appearance on Fox News, "The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!"

Driving the news: Navarro told Fox News the "turning point" for talks ending came after the signing of the Phase 1 deal on Jan. 15.

  • "It was at a time when they had already sent hundreds of thousands of people to this country to spread that virus, and it was just minutes after wheels up when that plane took off that we began to hear about this pandemic," he said.
  • "And I think everybody here inside the perimeter and around this country now understands that China lied and Americans died. And it’s the Chinese Communist Party. And President Trump runs the table on all three of those, especially China. So I think that this election is going to be about jobs, China, and law and order."

Yes, but: Navarro told the Wall Street Journal his comments "have been taken wildly out of context."

  • He said he was trying to make a broader point about "trust" when he made the remarks about the trade talks, according to the WSJ.
  • "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 added in his statement to the Journal.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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