The Trump administration on Tuesday moved forward with restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. and tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods despite talks that seemed to alleviate trade tensions between the two countries.
Tuesday's announcement from the U.S. came just days after the two world superpowers had announced a tentative solution.
After an announcement on Tuesday that tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese goods were coming soon, Navarro lamented that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's suggestion that the tariffs were on hold was erroneous. Also, China was made to make a promise that they will buy more of U.S. agricultural and energy products.
President Donald Trump's hard-line views on trade, a core of his message long before he entered politics, are beginning to conflict with the cold realities of global geopolitics.
It was written before the White House announced on Tuesday that it would push ahead with tariffs, despite an earlier agreement to put them on hold.
The White House has said it will impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese imports "shortly" after mid-June. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to meet with officials in Beijing on June 2-4 to continue negotiations.
Trump also said a deal to ease sanctions on the Chinese tech giant ZTE would be forthcoming.
"I think this is a bone to the Congress. This statement is obviously in violation of the consensus reached in Washington recently by both China and the United States", the Commerce Ministry said.
The US President had threatened to impose tariffs of up to $150 billion on Chinese goods to combat what he claimed were unfair trade practices on the part of Beijing.
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The near collapse of Chinese telecommunications company ZTE after USA sanctions prevented it from purchasing U.S. microchips has in recent weeks hardened China's resolve to become self-sufficient in critical technologies, and has make it unlikely China will agree to abandon the Made in China 2025 program. And on May 26, the president celebrated on Twitter that a deal had been struck, and ZTE would be allowed to import parts from the USA provided it paid a $1.3bn fine for past screw ups.
In return, the Commerce Department lifted a seven-year ban on ZTE's purchase of US components that it had just imposed earlier in May.
The relationship between Navarro and Mnuchin appears to have been souring for a while over U.S.
The White House's latest tariff action focuses on advanced technologies, including those such as robots and electric cars that China has said it wants to develop under its "Made in China 2025" program.
The final list of Chinese products will be announced by June 15 and the tariffs will go into effect shortly afterwards. The list will be based on a previous compilation of 1,300 goods released in April that will be narrowed based on public comments the administration has received. This list consists of items related to medical devices and industrial machinery. Those come on top of the $3 billion in tariffs in place as of early April on Chinese imports of US shipments of pork, fruit, nuts, recycled aluminum and other goods.
Other advisers have pushed for tougher action, demanding that China make substantial reforms to its economy to end the subsidies it provides to developing industries and to allow American companies equal access in the Chinese market.
Trump's move also prompted an immediate rebuke from China.
Trump has raised concerns about China's attempt to siphon US technology secrets since his presidential campaign.