White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said media reports on the U.S.-China trade talks are not reliable, even calling stories in The Wall Street Journal “garbage.”
“My advice for investors is to be patient with the process and don’t believe anything you read in either the Chinese or the U.S. press about these negotiations unless it comes from the mouth of either the president or advisor Lighthizer,” Navarro said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“There’s just going to be a lot of garbage coming out of The Wall Street Journal and the People’s Daily and everything in between,” Navarro said. “I’ve seen this movie before. … There were all sorts of stories written and they were designed to shape the negotiations and they didn’t have any insight into them,” he said.
Navarro didn’t discuss any specific stories or present any evidence to back up his point. The Journal reported Monday that certain issues were weighing on new trade talks, including China not stepping up purchases of American agricultural products. President Donald Trump himself later confirmed that lack of the purchases were a hang up.
“We stand by our reporting,” Colleen Schwartz, a spokeswoman at the Journal told CNBC in response to Navarro’s comment.
The People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Communist Party in China.
As for those trade talks, Navarro said that the trade battle was “in a quiet period,” adding that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will travel to Beijing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the near future.
Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce at the G-20 meeting last month in Japan after both countries slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods. China said last week the U.S. has to remove all the existing tariffs placed on Chinese goods if there is to be a trade deal, while Trump said those tariffs will not be reduced.