Navarro says US will take strong action against China if it devalues yuan to ‘neutralize tariffs’

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Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said Beijing plans to devalue its currency — and if it does, the U.S. will respond forcefully.

“They’re going to and we’re going to take strong action against them,” Navarro told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Friday. ”Clearly they are manipulating their currency from a trade point of view.”

Earlier this week, China allowed its currency to drop against the dollar to a key level unseen since 2008. The Trump administration later labeled Beijing a “currency manipulator. “ Navarro said China was taking actions to deal with the effects of tariffs.

“China has devalued its currency by over 10% with the express purpose of neutralizing tariffs, full stop,” Navarro said. 

President Donald Trump abruptly ended a cease-fire with China by announcing 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods last week, claiming China failed to buy U.S. farm goods as it promised. The trade war boiled over this week as China announced it would stop buying American agricultural products in retaliation for Trump’s surprise tariffs threat. On Friday, President Donald Trump also said that the U.S. government will no longer do business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Navarro said China, not U.S. consumers, will bear the brunt of the trade war. 

“China will bear virtually the entire burden of that through the currency manipulation and by slashing prices,” he said. 

— This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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