President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday tapped Peter Navarro, an economic adviser to his campaign and an outspoken China hawk, to lead a newly formed White House National Trade Council.
Navarro is well known for his tough-on-China stance, which matches up with Trump’s rhetoric from the campaign trail and along his “thank you” tour, during which he said the nation was the root cause of the greatest “jobs theft” in history.
Navarro has authored books such as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World.” He has advocated a more aggressive stance in what he has warned is an economic war with China.
“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 a transition release. “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.”
In announcing the trade council, the release said its purpose would be to advise Trump on trade negotiations, coordinate with other agencies, and assist unemployed workers. It will also lead Trump’s “Buy America, Hire America” program, which is aimed at boosting jobs in infrastructure and defense sectors. The council will work with the National Security Council, National Economic Council, and the Domestic Policy Council.
“Peter Navarro is the best person President-elect Donald Trump could have chosen to head his National Trade Council,” Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross said in the release. “We were a great team during the campaign, and we will be a great team during the administration.”
A potential Ross-led department is expected to take on an outsize role regarding trade. Trump has not yet named his US trade representative, the administration official tasked with trade negotiations.
“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,” Navarro said in the release.