President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was creating a new White House National Trade Council to focus on strengthening the nation's trade policies and manufacturing sector to be headed by California economist and author Peter Navarro.
"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 announcing the appointment. "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."
Navarro, 67, a Harvard-trained Ph.D. economist, is s professor of economics and public policy at the University of California-Irvine.
His 12 books include "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon," "Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World" and "The Coming China Wars."
He has long argued that Beijing's aggressively predatory trade practices required more accountability and stronger policies from the United States.
Before his teaching career, Navarro served in the Peace Corps in Southeast Asia and worked in Washington as an energy and environmental policy analyst. He also unsuccessfully ran for local offices and for Congress in The Golden State.
Trump's announcement described Navarro as a "visionary economist" who will "develop trade policies that shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth, and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores."
The National Trade Council will advise Trump 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," the announcement said.
Trump said that council will lead the "Buy America, Hire America" program that seeks to increase employment in such areas as infrastructure and defense — providing every American with "a decent job at a decent wage."
Navarro and Wilbur Ross, whom the president-elect plans to nominate as Commerce Secretary, developed Trump's economic agenda that he espoused during the campaign.
"Peter Navarro is the best person President-elect Donald Trump could have chosen to head his National Trade Council," Ross said. "We were a great team during the campaign, and we will be a great team during the administration."
Navarro said that he was "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."
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