WASHINGTON (CN) – President-elect Donald Trump has selected University of California economist Peter Navarro as his top trade adviser, the transition team announced Wednesday.
Navarro, one of the few economists to support Trump during the campaign, has written books and directed a documentary warning of increased Chinese aggression and advocating a tougher stance from the United States to balance out the Asian power’s rise.
He has advised Trump during the campaign and will now lead the National Trade Council, a new advisory committee Trump announced Wednesday that will instruct the president on “innovative strategies in trade negotiations, coordinate with other agencies to assess U.S. manufacturing capabilities and the defense industrial base and help match unemployed American workers with new opportunities in the skilled manufacturing sector.”
“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. “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.”
A Harvard-trained economist, Navarro ran for office four times as a Democrat in the 1990s before publishing a series of books and producing a documentary called “Death by China.”
Trade was one of the few policy points on which Trump held a clearly articulated position during the campaign and was one of the issues that likely won him the White House. He has advocated for instituting a tariff on goods coming into the country from companies that have outsourced jobs and routinely called NAFTA the “worst trade deal in history.”