Government & Military

Peter Navarro

The potential author of President Trump’s China policy.

Head of White House National Trade Council

It’s a background that seems ill-suited to one of the top economic advisors to President Donald Trump: returned Peace Corps volunteer; Harvard Ph.D.; long-time academic. But for Peter Navarro, who has four unsuccessful runs for local and national office on his resume, throwing his lot in with Trump has provided a path to public influence and now, a senior role in the White House as director of the White House National Trade Council, a newly created position.

Navarro’s rhetoric about China has been alarmist for some time; his 2011 book Death By China depicts the country as a rapacious devourer of U.S. jobs, a stance that experts generally view as overheated and simplistic; one called his country-specific knowledge “as deep as a cookie pan.” Navarro has certainly succeeded in bringing red-baiting further into the U.S. policy mainstream. Now comes the hard part; it may fall partly to Navarro to put meat on the bones of Trump’s pronouncements, which center on China as a thief of U.S. jobs but say less about how those jobs can be taken back.

(Photo credit: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg)

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