World Economy

No Market Economic Status for China

No Market Economic Status for ChinaNo Market Economic Status for China

Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro said there was “no way” China would be granted market economic status by the Trump administration.

Talking on “The Laura Ingraham Show”, he said: Market economic status is an economic distinction the US Department of Commerce grants to indicate that a nation does not artificially inflate or deflate the prices of its exports in order to gain an unfair trade advantage, Lifezette reported.

Navarro was asked whether the Trump administration would consider lending the distinction, that China has lobbied for at the World Trade Organization for years, in exchange for other concessions from China.

“That’s such an important issue because there’s no way that we would ever bend on that,” Navarro, an assistant to the president and the director of trade and industrial policy, said. “China is not a market economy. No way.”

The flat assertion from Navarro indicated the administration is committed to retaining a tough-on-China stance, even amid worries that economic considerations are taking a back seat to foreign policy concerns in the region.

“If we were to grant them that, it would basically gut and gore our ability to impose countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties on a country which engages in those two practices at a level worse than any other country in the world,” Navarro said. “So that’s non-negotiable, as I understand it.”

He also hammered senate Democrats’ “unacceptable” obstruction of Robert Lighthizer’s confirmation as US trade representative, saying the “slow-walking” from lawmakers has slowed progress on trade priorities.

“We’ve been slow-played by Congress,” Navarro said. “On day 12 of this administration, the president informed congressional leaders of his intent to renegotiate [the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement], and he called it correctly ‘one of the worst trade deals we’ve ever signed’. That started the fast-track process.”

“What should have ensued at that point was a period of two to three weeks in this pre-consultation phase,” Navarro added. “And we should have been able at that point to issue this notice that would then set the next milestone of the 90 days. And that didn’t happen because we got slow-played by Congress.”

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