Trump sends China hawk to his trade coun­cil

Stands by get-tough commerce plans

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY S.A. MILLER

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump an­nounced Wed­nes­day the cre­ation of a White House Na­tional Trade Coun­cil and named China hawk Peter Navarro as di­rec­tor of the new of­fice.

The move, in­clud­ing putting the author of the book “Death by China” in charge of the trade coun­cil, sig­naled Mr. Trump’s in­ten­tion to pur­sue get-tough trade poli­cies that were a cen­ter­piece of his cam­paign.

Tran­si­tion team of­fi­cials said the for­ma­tion of the Na­tional Trade Coun­cil demon­strated Mr. Trump’s “deter­mi­na­tion to make Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing great again and to pro­vide ev­ery Amer­i­can the op­por­tu­nity to work in a de­cent job at a de­cent wage.”

Mr. Navarro, an econ­o­mist at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine, is renowned for chal­leng­ing free trade dogma. The tran­si­tion team de­scribed him as a vi­sion­ary who will de­velop trade poli­cies that shrink the trade deficit, ex­pand eco­nomic growth and help stop off­shoring of U.S. jobs.

He will be tasked with ad­vis­ing Mr. Trump on strate­gies in trade ne­go­ti­a­tions and as­sess­ing U.S. man­u­fac­tur­ing and other in­dus­trial ca­pa­bil­i­ties, as well as iden­ti­fy­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for un­em­ployed Amer­i­cans in the skilled man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

The Na­tional Trade Coun­cil will also lead the “Buy Amer­ica, Hire Amer­ica” pro­gram for gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment and fed­eral projects.

Mr. Trump ran on trade is­sues, vow­ing to chal­lenge what he de­scribed as un­fair trade prac­tices by China. But Mr. Trump’s crit­ics said he was tempt­ing a trade war with one of Amer­ica’s largest trade part­ners.

Harry J. Kazia­nis, di­rec­tor of de­fense stud­ies at the Cen­ter for the Na­tional In­ter­est, ap­plauded the choice of Mr. Navarro.

“For far too long, China has pur­sued what can only be de­scribed as a mer­can­tilist trade pol­icy that [has] greatly im­pacted Amer­i­can jobs, pro­duc­tiv­ity and its eco­nomic for­tunes. Peter is one of the only econ­o­mists to speak on th­ese is­sues and will be a force for change and truly en­sure when it comes to trade pol­icy Amer­ica’s in­ter­ests will be first,” he said.

Mr. Trump also an­nounced that bil­lion­aire in­vestor Carl Ic­ahn has agreed to serve as a spe­cial ad­viser on reg­u­la­tory re­form, an­other sign that he is tak­ing ac­tion on his eco­nomic agenda.

Mr. Ic­ahn, who had been an ad­viser to Mr. Trump dur­ing the cam­paign, shares the pres­i­dent-elect’s op­po­si­tion to fed­eral reg­u­la­tions that they say kill jobs and sti­fle eco­nomic growth. He helped craft Mr. Trump’s eco­nomic agenda and can be ex­pected to con­trib­ute to plans to ag­gres­sively roll back fed­eral reg­u­la­tions pro­mul­gated un­der Mr. Obama.

Mr. Trump vowed that for ev­ery new reg­u­la­tion cre­ated by his ad­min­is­tra­tion, two ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tions must be elim­i­nated.

Mr. Navarro helped de­velop Mr. Trump’s eco­nomic poli­cies dur­ing the cam­paign. His White House ti­tle will be as­sis­tant to the pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of trade and in­dus­trial pol­icy.

“I read one of Peter’s books on Amer­ica’s trade prob­lems years ago and was im­pressed by the clar­ity of his ar­gu­ments and thor­ough­ness of his re­search,” the pres­i­dent-elect said in the state­ment. “He has pre­sciently doc­u­mented the harms in­flicted by glob­al­ism on Amer­i­can work­ers, and laid out a path for­ward to re­store our mid­dle class. He will ful­fill an es­sen­tial role in my ad­min­is­tra­tion as a trade [ad­viser].”

“I am deeply hon­ored for the op­por­tu­nity to serve the pres­i­dent-elect and this na­tion and to ad­vise on poli­cies to re­bal­ance our trade, re­build our in­dus­trial base and re­store Amer­ica’s com­pre­hen­sive na­tional power by mak­ing Amer­ica great again,” said Mr. Navarro.

Dur­ing the cam­paign Mr. Navarro worked with Commerce Sec­re­tary de­signee Wil­bur Ross to de­velop Mr. Trump’s trade and eco­nomic agenda, in­clud­ing a fo­cus on bring­ing back Amer­ica’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

“Peter Navarro is the best per­son Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump could have cho­sen to head his Na­tional Trade Coun­cil,” said Mr. Ross. “We were a great team dur­ing the cam­paign, and we will be a great team dur­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

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