China 'underestimated' Trump, a key adviser says

FBI - Trader John Panin works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (AP) —The top White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, says Beijing "may have underestimated the resolve of President Donald J. Trump" by refusing to meet U.S. demands on trade and by threatening to retaliate against American trade sanctions.

Navarro, known for his hard-line approach to China, still says the U.S. is open to talks to resolve the dispute before it imposes tariffs on up to $450 billion in Chinese products.

"Our phone lines are open; they have always been open," he tells reporters.

Navarro also disputes any notion that the trade standoff would damage the broader relationship with China.

"This is a trade dispute — nothing more, nothing less," Navarro says. "President Trump has a great relationship with President Xi" Jinping of China.

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