Navarro: China trade deal will take time

Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Tuesday that U.S. trade talks with China are heading in the right direction and any concessions to Beijing on Huawei Technologies were small in the context of a larger trade deal.

“We’re headed in a very good direction,” Navarro said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s complicated, as the president said, correctly, this will take time and we want to get it right. So let’s get it right.”

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in a meeting Saturday at the Group of 20 summit in Japan to restart trade talks after the last major round of negotiations collapsed in May.

The partial lifting of restrictions on Huawei was a key element of the agreement, which allows expanded sales of U.S. technology supplies to the Chinese telecommunications giant. Washington put Huawei on an export blacklist in May, citing national security concerns over its 5G network technology.

Navarro played down the concession on Huawei, saying U.S. policy with respect to the 5G component has not changed.

“All we’ve done basically is to allow the sale of chips to Huawei, and these are lower-tech items which do not impact national security whatever,” Navarro said. “Selling chips to Huawei, a small amount of chips — less than $1 billion a year — in the short run is small in the scheme of things.”

Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, told the Financial Times the company was willing to continue buying products from U.S. firms, but the relaxation of the ban would not have “much impact” on Huawei’s business as it adjusts to a new era of American hostility.

Navarro said Washington would continue working closely with allies to ensure they did not adopt Huawei 5G technology, but had agreed to allow the sale of some low-level chips to bring China back to the negotiating table and secure an agreement by Beijing to buy significant amounts of agricultural products.Speech

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