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21 Dec, 2016 20:26

Trump creates National Trade council to deal with trade pacts & US jobs

Trump creates National Trade council to deal with trade pacts & US jobs

President-elect Donald Trump announced the establishment of the White House National Trade Council, to be headed by Peter Navarro, a hard-line critic of China.

The announcement on Wednesday called Navarro a “visionary economist” who will develop policies to shrink the US trade deficit, expand growth and stop the jobs from going overseas.

The National Trade Council will also be in charge of the “Buy America, Hire America” program that will apply to government spending ranging from infrastructure to national defense.

“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,” Trump said in the announcement. “He has presciently documented the harms inflicted by globalism on American workers, and laid out a path forward to restore our middle class.”

Navarro worked with Wilbur Ross – nominated to serve as the next secretary of commerce – to develop Trump’s trade and economic message during the presidential campaign.

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

Navarro, a Harvard-trained economist, is best known for authoring books such asDeath by China and Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World.

Trump laid out the trade policy crafted by Ross and Navarro at a June 28 rally in Pennsylvania, promising a seven-point plan to “rebuild American economy.”

Appointing “tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers” was the second item on the list, right after withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Under the proposal, the secretary of commerce would identify the violations of current trade agreements and “use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.”

The Treasury secretary would label China a “currency manipulator,” while the US Trade Representative would be required to bring trade cases against China both in the US and at the World Trade Organization. If China refused to “stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets,” the Trump administration would apply tariffs under laws passed in 1962 and 1974, the trade platform said.

Navarro and Ross would also be charged with renegotiating the terms of NAFTA, the 1994 free-trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and begin the US exit from the pact if the negotiations fail.