Trump picks ‘Death by China’ author for trade advisory role

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn looks at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as he talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn looks at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as he talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

By Eric Beech Wed Dec 21, 2016 | 5:41pm EST

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump named Peter Navarro, an economist who has urged a hard line on trade with China, to head a newly formed White House National Trade Council, the transition team said on Wednesday.

Navarro is an academic and one-time investment adviser who has authored a number of popular books and made a film describing China’s threat to the U.S. economy as well as Beijing’s desire to become the dominant economic and military power in Asia.

Trump’s team praised Navarro in a statement as a “visionary” economist who would “develop trade policies that shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth, and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores.”

Trump, a Republican, made trade a centerpiece of his presidential campaign and railed against what he said were bad deals the United States had made with other countries. He has threatened to hit Mexico and China with high tariffs once he takes office on Jan. 20.

Navarro, 67, is a professor at University of California, Irvine, and advised Trump during the campaign. He has authored several books including “Death by China: How America Lost its Manufacturing Base,” which was made into a documentary film.

As well as describing what he sees as America’s losing economic war with China, Navarro has highlighted concerns over environmental issues related to Chinese imports and the theft of U.S. intellectual property.

While Trump in the statement praised the “clarity” of Navarro’s arguments and the “thoroughness of his research,” few other economists have endorsed Navarro’s ideas.

Marcus Noland, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, likened a tax and trade paper authored by Navarro and Wilbur Ross, who has been named as Trump’s commerce secretary, to “the type of magical thinking best reserved for fictional realities” for what he said was its flawed economic analysis.


Navarro has also suggested a stepped-up engagement with Taiwan, including assistance with a submarine development program.

He argued that Washington should stop referring to the “one China” policy, but stopped short of suggesting it should recognize Taipei, saying: “There is no need to unnecessarily poke the Panda.”

China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

After his Nov. 8 election win, Trump stoked China’s ire when he took a telephone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a break with decades of precedent that cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

In an opinion piece in Foreign Policy magazine in November, Navarro and another Trump adviser, Alexander Gray, reiterated the president-elect’s opposition to major trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Trump will never again sacrifice the U.S. economy on the altar of foreign policy by entering into bad trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, allowing China into the World Trade Organization, and passing the proposed TPP,” Navarro and Gray wrote. “These deals only weaken our manufacturing base and ability to defend ourselves and our allies.”

Trump has vowed to pull the United States out of the TPP, a free-trade pact aimed at linking a dozen Pacific Rim nations that President Barack Obama signed in February. It has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate.

The president-elect has also vowed to renegotiate the NAFTA pact with Canada and Mexico, saying it had cost American jobs.

(Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Additional reporting by Mohammad Zargham and David Chance in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Peter Cooney)

Source: Reuters “Trump picks ‘Death by China’ author for trade advisory role”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


9 Comments on “Trump picks ‘Death by China’ author for trade advisory role”

  1. Zikka-V says:

    Correct. Peter Navarro does not write or discuss issues like a dispassionate objective thinker; Certainly not a circumspective intellectual or a deep thinker. The Sinophobia that courses through his arguments seems to be the basis of almost his writings. Reminiscent of people of hubris and plain racism. So perhaps the suspicion about Trump is correct. This guy too is basically a racist. A person is judged by the company he keeps. East Asia is in for interesting times.


    • Jane says:

      The AV Club review of Death by China says: “These are all legitimate concerns … but they’re undermined at every point by a sky-is-falling hysteria that registers as white noise. It’s the documentary equivalent of a raving street-corner derelict.”

      Trump has selected a raving hysteric to be his trade advisor.

      Peter Navarro does not need a new job. He needs to see a psychiatrist.


  2. Joseph says:

    Peter Navarro? Really? Unbelievable? Who would find his writings to have any sense? So all this time Donald Trump has been reading his garbage. I am surprised that Donald Trump does not have the entire National Interest or Asia Times writers to be his policy makers. Makes me wonder if old Donald is actually assembling a circus rather than a cabinet. Lil’l peter surely gets a huge promotion from a nonsense writer to a policy maker. Surely it will be a huge experience for him. It is interesting to see what kind of ‘visionary’ nonsense he would come up with against the Chinese heavy weight no nonsense policy makers. Surely he won’t be able to block or delete their ‘undesirable’ comments like he did mine. All in all, good luck pete, Chinese dignitaries are far more smarter than an amateur like me.


    • Reader says:

      This Navarro chap is a paid CIA anti vhina mouthpiece. Masquerading as “professor”.


      • Joseph says:

        True. The real professor wouldn’t lose argument with me and delete my ‘comments’. Messing with my email and Disquss accounts were certainly not the work of ordinary internet/blog writer. Luckily I do not live in America, otherwise I might end up like Edward Snowden.


  3. Simon says:

    And China will help Iran and North Korea develope multitude of military programs including nuclear that will cause havoc to America. Weaken Tawian economically and then if America unilaterally change the status quo with Taiwan, China will launch an invasion and take back the province by force. What Trumo say and do are two entirely different thing.
    The reality is if America can force China to make concessions they would have done so long ago, it does not need Trump to think of such ideas.


  4. Steve says:

    Just an updated new bunch of hegemonic scoundrels. If China had being a weakling like Cuba, it would have been sanctioned by US, the One China policy disregarded, disrespected and Taiwan would be recognised as the new sovereign state. Navarro said China should not have been allowed to enter the WTO because it weakens the US manufacturing base and ability to defend US and allies. What he meant was only US allies are allowed to enter the WTO. How did a Professor of economics suggest a military assistance to help Taiwan develop a submarine programme.? Because he is divisive and wants to create schism in the One China policy.

    China has to play hardball against this new bunch of hegemonic scoundrels.


    • George says:

      China should have ditched Mao’s archaic nuclear doctrine long ago. Beijing will also live to regret not having gone along with Putin at the onset of US 08 crisis.. He will come back to bite China.


      • Steve says:

        True – Mao was a despot. He believed there must be destruction before construction, a very hardliner. China was extremely lacking talents in education (science and technology), astute politician, teachers, medicine, etc. It was a case of Reform vs Revolution. Peacefulness in bloodiness.? A system broken down needs to be repaired, but there were more revolutionaries than reform thinkers. Timing was the essence, but was non existent.

        As for Putin US 08, China would have killed its peaceful rise instigating war, taking advantage to kill the wounded victim. Everyday Americans were the victims of ‘Freddie and Fanny.’ China did the right thing refusing Putin’s request.. Why.? because China is a huge developing nation
        and the US market is the most important for China. China was still a huge factory warehouse. The political relationship between two great powers – one rising, the other established would have tremendous consequences because the US will recover economically. China has lots of problems in maritime issues of the SCS, ECS, land borders, cross straits, etc, etc. In short, China’s capability in military and diplomatically was still inadequate. China should not instigate
        or fire the first shot.