They were in Beijing as part of an official visit, trying to deliver on Trump's demand that China make dramatic changes in its trade policy. On Wednesday, his name wasn't on a Treasury Department list of USA officials who will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the rest of the Beijing delegation at Treasury on Thursday and Friday. The official confirmed that Navarro will be among those participating in the trade meetings this week. It is not clear exactly what that would entail.
The argument took place outside the government building in Beijing where the talks were taking place and out of the view of Chinese officials, one source familiar with the incident told CNN. He has turned to Mnuchin, a moderate who will lead the talks this week, to iron out differences on trade balances and technology theft. But a White House official later said that he would participate in the talks.
Liu gave the OK hand gesture to waiting reporters as he left Hatch's office. He co-authored a 2011 book entitled "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - a Global Call to Action", which focused on his perceptions of China's economic policies.
This behind-the-scenes horse trading has occurred without input from Navarro or a number of other White House officials, as several appeared caught off-guard during public appearances this week.
But Sunday, Trump signaled that he was beginning to back down from his tough stance.
The lawmakers said the meeting did not address Trump's pledge on Sunday to help Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) get back in business after a Commerce Department ban cut off its supply of USA components. -China trade talks that get under way in Washington on Thursday, a senior USA official said on Wednesday.
Guided by Xi and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, China-U.S. ties have achieved important and positive progress, Liu said. "The meetings haven't even started yet!"
The verbal barrage came one day after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 31 other Democratic and one independent senator wrote to Trump urging him not weaken law enforcement penalties on ZTE in exchange for trade concessions.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump earlier on Wednesday denied caving in to China over USA sanctions on the telecoms equipment maker ZTE. On the Chinese side, that included "appropriately dealing with the ZTE case", according to an unofficial translation.
On the same trip, Navarro also blew up at Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, according to a source with direct knowledge. That prompted the Chinese company to announce last week it was ceasing business operations. "Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump said.
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Trump on Monday had defended his decision to revisit penalties on ZTE for flouting US sanctions on trade with Iran, in part by saying it was reflective of the larger trade deal the United States is negotiating with China.
The Washington talks will start as USTR finishes up public hearings on the first batch of USA tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods proposed as punishment for alleged violations of US intellectual rights.
The U.S. congressmen said that formal talks with the administration were due to begin on Thursday.
Liu arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon for economic and trade consultations with the US side at the invitation of the USA government.
Trump has threatened to expand the list of targeted Chinese goods to $150 billion - which potentially could cover everything the United States imports from China, since those imports totaled $130 billion past year.
Barring a major breakthrough in this week's talks, tariffs on the initial $50 billion worth of goods could go into effect in the coming weeks or months.
Liu, who is China's top economic official, told us lawmakers on Wednesday that he would work hard to address the U.S.
Liu told the group of House representatives on Wednesday that he wanted to address trade imbalances by increasing Chinese demand for American products, Brady said.
Erin Ennis, vice president at the U.S. -China flights, a person familiar with the episode said.
The two nations' shared interests far outweigh their differences, said Liu, adding that both countries will win if they work together, and lose if they are pitted against each other. "It was really the beginning of what I think is going to be a lengthy process", he said.