President Trump flanked by Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, New York City, Aug. 15, 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
In a report dated June 29, 2019, Beijing-based D&C Think examined the views of President Trump's top advisers on China.
Why it matters: The report's findings, while subjective, provide a glimpse into the increased emphasis that many in Beijing are placing on reading the tea leaves of the White House.
The think tank's researchers put forward the following conclusions:
- A hardline attitude is not universal among top White House officials.
- Three Cabinet positions in particular tend to have officials who hold friendlier views, in the report's estimation — the treasury, agriculture and transportation secretaries (currently held by Steve Mnuchin, Sonny Perdue and Elaine Chao, respectively).
- The trade war is primarily being pushed by officials in charge of strategy and national security, rather than those who are responsible for trade.