White House China hawk Peter Navarro excluded from China trade talks

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Close to 125 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the hearings, which conclude on Thursday, in a sign of the concern in the USA business community over the administration's move.

Later, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, a Republican, sounded a more pessimistic tone over a deal to avert tariffs after he met with Liu. "I think that's going to be a wake-up call for Americans", Navarro said on NBC's "Meet The Press".

China has promised to retaliate in equal measure, targeting USA soybeans, aircraft, autos and other goods for additional tariffs, causing US farm commodity prices to fall. But the Treasury secretary was just following protocol in meeting one-on-one with his Chinese counterpart as the head of the delegation, according to a senior administration official.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Mr Trump said on Twitter.

After Trump's tweet on Sunday, Ross said the Commerce Department was "very, very promptly" exploring alternative ways of punishing the company.

Trump's reversal was condemned by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and raised questions about whether the president was softening his approach in trade negotiations with China.

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"He recognizes there are problems in this trade relationship", Brady said of Liu after the meeting.

Peter Navarro, the White House trade and manufacturing adviser who has been a fierce China critic, will not be a principal player on the United States side, officials were quoted as saying.

"These meetings are a continuation of the talks held in Beijing two weeks ago and will focus on rebalancing the United States-China bilateral economic relationship", the White House said in a statement.

The White House's harshest China critic, Peter Navarro, will not be one of the principal American officials at U.S. The officials were granted anonymity to discuss the matter.

One person close to Navarro said the White House official believes he is the target of a leak campaign meant to further sideline him during the Liu visit, at perhaps the most pivotal moment in the trade talks between the US and China. According to a document seen by Bloomberg News, Beijing asked the U.S.to open government procurement to Chinese firms, and soften the Commerce Department penalty on ZTE, among other things.

But there have been signs China is seeking to add a number of unrelated measures to the trade talks, and Trump has shown a willingness to entertain them.

Liu arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon for economic and trade consultations with the US side at the invitation of the USA government. After the USA unveiled a list of $50 billion in potential tariffs on Chinese products, Beijing responded with plans to implement billions of dollars in reciprocal penalties on US soybeans, cars and other items.

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