Trump picks China hawk Peter Navarro to head his newly formed National Trade Council

Courtney Goldsmith
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Trump picks a China hawk to advise him on "innovative strategies" in trade (Source: Getty)

US President-elect Donald Trump today announced he has formed a White House National Trade Council (NTC) to be led by China hawk Peter Navarro.

Navarro, an economist who has written books including "Death by China: How America Lost its Manufacturing Base" and "Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World", for years has urged a hard line on trade with China.

During his campaign, Trump was advised on issues of trade, the economy and foreign policy by Navarro, who is a professor at University of California, Irvine.

Trump's transition team called Navarro a "visionary economist" and said he would work to develop trade policies to decrease the trade deficit, expand growth and halt the "exodus of jobs" from America.

​​"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 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 advisor."

The NTC will oversee industrial policy and lead the Buy America, Hire America programme aimed at creating jobs in infrastructure and defence.

Trump's team said the organisation would work with the National Security Council, the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council.

"For the first time, there will be a council within the White House that puts American manufacturing and American workers first, and that thinks strategically about the health of America's defence industrial base and the role of trade and manufacturing in national security."​

Navarro, who endorsed and defended Trump during the presidential election, said:

"I am deeply honoured 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."

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