White House trade adviser Peter Navarro briefly caused financial markets to plummet on Monday night when he told Fox News that the U.S.-China trade deal was “over,” prompting Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow to dispute Navarro’s comments and the president to tweet out a rebuke.
During an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, Navarro said the “turning point” of the deal was the coronavirus pandemic, claiming “China lied and Americans died” while insisting the deal was “over.” The Dow Jones Futures index immediately dropped hundreds of points.
Kudlow then told Axios that the U.S. “remains engaged” with China on the Phase 1 deal and that it is “going well.” In a separate comment to The Daily Beast, Kudlow gave a one-word comment when asked if the deal was dead: “No!” Trump also tweeted that the deal is “fully intact.”
Navarro eventually walked the comments back, telling The Wall Street Journal that he was “taken wildly out of context” and that his remarks “had nothing at all to do with the Phase I trade deal.” Instead, he claimed he 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.”
—With reporting from Asawin Suebsaeng