Trump's trade adviser embarrassingly retracted a claim that a US deal with China was 'over'

Business Insider US
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18:  Director of Trade and M
Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  • President Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro retracted a claim made in an interview that a US-China trade deal was "over."
  • He had said that China's oppression of the Uighur Muslim minority, as well as instances of international overreach, endangered the deal.
  • The claim made headlines, and stock market futures dropped 400 points, according to Fox News.
  • However, after the interview he said the interview had been taken out of context.
  • Trump later piled on, tweeting late Monday that the deal was "fully intact."
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

President Donald Trump's trade adviser retracted his assertion that US-China trade negotiations were "over" hours after making it in a Fox News interview.

Peter Navarro made the claim while speaking to Fox host Martha MacCallum on Monday.

He criticised China for its handling of the coronavirus, its treatment of Uighur Muslims, and numerous other examples.

Asked if these things meant that any deal was "over," Navarro said: "It's over. Yes."

Following the comment, stock market futures fell 400 points in an already volatile market, according to Fox News.

Navarro has since said in a White House statement that his comments were taken "wildly out of context" and that the trade deal "continues in place," according to Reuters.

Later on Monday, Trump tweeted himself to emphasise that Navarro's earlier claim had been wrong. He said: "The China Trade Deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the Agreement!"

In his statement, Navarro said his comments had nothing to do with the trade deal.

"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," Reuters reported him as saying.

His interview on Fox News had been largely focused on former National Security Adviser John Bolton, whose forthcoming book "The Room Where it Happened" contains many criticisms of the president.

Navarro seemed eager to defend the president's foreign policy record, aiming several barbs at Bolton's hawkishness on the Middle East. Navarro praised Trump for his handling of tensions with China.

Trade Adviser Peter Navarro on Fox News, in an interview when he told Martha MacCallum that the US-China trade deal was "over"
Fox News/YouTube
"We as a country ... have to ask each other how much we let the Chinese Communist Party get away [with]," he said, citing the "ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide" of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province.

Following his statement that the trade deal was "over", some commentators predicted it wouldn't stand.

Moh Siong Sim, FX analyst at the Bank of Singapore, told Reuters to "take it with a pinch of salt."

Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at Natalliance, told Reuters: "Put a muzzle on this guy ... we are certain his statement is going to be walked back."

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