White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday characterized recent reports that the United States considers restrictions on Chinese companies as grossly inaccurate.
"The story that emerged in Bloomberg: I've read it far more carefully than it was written," Navarro told CNBC. "Over half of it was very inaccurate or simply flat-out false."
Several news sites, including CNBC, reported Friday that the White House is in the early stages of weighing restrictions on US investment in China. Such measures could include a block of all US investment in the country, a person familiar with the talks told CNBC.
"It was really irresponsible journalism and the problem we have here … these bad stories squeeze out the good," Navarro added. "And what's happening is as soon as Bloomberg puts it out there, there's pressure from others to put it out there."
Bloomberg News first reported last week that President Donald Trump's administration is considering sidewalks on US investors' portfolio flowing into China, including delisting Chinese companies from US exchanges.
However, a spokeswoman for the Treasury this weekend said "the administration is not considering blocking Chinese companies from listing stocks on US stock exchanges at this time."
A Bloomberg spokesman did not have a comment immediately available. [1
Reports on discussions in the White House about restrictions in Chinese markets come as the administration looks for further influence handles in trade talks, which resume on October 10 in Washington.
Both countries have been paying billions of dollars of each other's goods for the past two years, with the United States introducing a fresh 15% tax on Chinese goods as of September 1. These tariffs affect clothing, tools and electronics; a retaliation round with Chinese tariffs on US goods affected soybeans, crude oil and pharmaceuticals.
Navarro, a well-known hawk among Trump's trade advisers, said earlier this month that he was confident that Congress would ratify the administration's landmark US-Mexico-Canada agreement by the end of 2019.
Significance of USMCA agreements, he argued that time, guaranteed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would make approval of the deal a priority by the end of December. However, since those comments, House Democrats have launched an investigative inquiry into Trump about his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Relations negotiations, Trump warned on Sept. 25, cast doubt on whether Pelosi will either be able to garner enough support to give the president a political victory or find enough time to take a vote.
"I don't know if Nancy Pelosis is going to have time to sign it," the president said Wednesday, adding that he believes the House leader is wasting his time on a "manufactured crisis."