Trump Administration to Take Harder Tack on Trade With China

Mr. Quinn had become the subject of a battle between two camps in the White House: economic nationalists, who wanted him out, and more mainstream backers of free trade, who defended him.

Taken together, these developments constituted a potentially significant victory for the hard-liners, coming off a string of setbacks in their efforts to persuade the president to deliver on the most combative anti-free-trade planks of his presidential campaign.

But the ultimate outcome of this policy debate is still far from clear, several officials said. Mr. Trump does not plan to confront Mr. Xi with the most aggressive of his campaign threats: a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods.