Trade

Top Trump Adviser Says “Half” of Reports on Blocking Chinese Investment Were Fake

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Multiple outlets reported on Friday that the Trump regime was considering a proposal to block all American investment in Chinese companies by delisting Chinese-owned companies from American stock exchanges and by placing restrictions on the amount that pension funds can invest in China.

Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro appeared on CNBC this morning where he called those reports "fake news," but he also said they were only half fake.

“That story, which appeared in Bloomberg: I’ve read it far more carefully than it was written,” Navarro told CNBC. “Over half of it was highly inaccurate or simply flat-out false.” [...]

“It was really irresponsible journalism and the problem we have here ... these bad stories push out the good,” Navarro said Monday on “Squawk Box.” “And what happens is as soon as Bloomberg puts it out there, there’s pressure from others to put it out there.”

I don't know which part we should view as fake and which part is real (my gut says it's all real) but what legal mechanism or justification could Trump use to do this in any case?

Reuters reported this morning that the White House may claim that investment in Chinese companies as a threat to national security to block investment.

It would be part of a broader effort to limit U.S. investment in Chinese companies, two of the sources said. One said it was motivated by the Trump administration’s growing security concerns about the companies’ activities. [...]

“Exerting maximum pressure and even seeking the forced decoupling of China-U.S. relations will harm the interests of Chinese and American companies and people, create turmoil in financial markets, and endanger global trade and economic growth,” [Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang] added.

The Trump regime has cited national security to justify all of their actions against imports from China and Chinese companies operating in the United States so this report, if accurate, is not extraordinary. This is what they've been doing all along.

Reuters also reported that Trump personally views this as another 'lever he can pull' during trade talks with China which will resume shortly. This suggests to me that Trump could still sabotage any positive development that emerge during talks.

The Treasury Department released a statement saying that it is not considering restrictions on investment in Chinese-owned companies, but I can't put much stock (no pun intended) in statements that come from anywhere but the White House because if Trump decides he wants this -- he'll get it.

In the past, when Peter Navarro or other members of Trump's regime came out and denied specific reports, we later learned that the reports were true but also did not convey the full severity of what the White House was considering.

Chinese-owned companies that were considering initial public offerings (IPO) in the U.S. are reportedly having second thoughts now.

“We’re having second thoughts,” CFO Wang Jia told Reuters, adding that Hong Kong, despite being beset with political unrest, had become more attractive after news emerged on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration was looking at delisting Chinese companies from U.S. bourses. [...]

“Too many calls. Every client is worried,” said Terence Lin, CEO of World Financial Holding Group, a boutique investment bank which helps Chinese companies with Nasdaq listings.

Driving Chinese companies back to the relative safety of Hong Kong to own the libs.

  • muselet

    “This story was just so full of inaccuracies. And in terms of the truth of the matter, what the Treasury said, I think, was accurate,” [Peter Navarro] said.

    A Treasury spokeswoman over the weekend, meanwhile, said “the administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time.”

    The Treasury spokeswoman’s “at this time” is doing a lot of work there, almost as much as Peter Navarro’s “I think.”

    Despite claiming that the majority of the Bloomberg story was inaccurate, Navarro refrained from disputing any specific claim within the report.

    And there’s the tell.

    After this much time, the pattern is clear: Donald Trump and his lackeys will flatly deny news reports, never bothering to explain what might be inaccurate, up until the moment the administration does more or less exactly what thefakenewsmedia! was reporting all along.

    If I ran a Chinese company and was looking to float an IPO, I’d find somewhere other than the US to do so, too.

    –alopecia