A China Hawk Gains Prominence as Trump Confronts Xi on Trade
By Alan Rappeport
Nov. 30, 2018
WASHINGTON — Michael Pillsbury had just finished a rib-eye salad at the Cosmos Club on Tuesday when he received a text message from the White House: “The president is trying to reach you. Call back.”
A day later, Mr. Pillsbury huddled in the Oval Office with President Trump and senior members of the White House economic team ahead of a pivotal weekend meeting in Argentina between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China.
For more than an hour, Mr. Trump, Mr. Pillsbury and advisers including Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Larry Kudlow, Jared Kushner and Peter Navarro, who joined remotely from California, strategized about negotiations with China that could determine the direction of a trade war that has gripped the world’s two largest economies, spooked global markets and shaken diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington.