White House trade adviser Peter Navarro challenged establishment forces and lobbyists for raising alarms about a “trade war” in response to President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs.
“Lobbyists on K Street are in full throat against this, who cares?” Navarro said on Fox News on Monday. “We got the politicians, everybody in the swamp is rising up against it at the end of the day we’re getting a bad deal.”
Navarro made his remarks after former George W. Bush budget director Josh Bolten criticized Trump’s decision to level tariffs on aluminum and steel. Bolten is now the CEO of the lobbying firm Business Roundtable.
Navarro said that the current aluminum and steel production in the country was “untenable” in the United States, which was why Trump enacted the tariffs.
“There are virtually no costs here, there’s no downstream price impact,” he said.
He also dismissed the notion that Trump would exclude American allies like Canada from the tariff.
“No country excluded, firm line in the sand,” Navarro said.
Navarro’s argument for tariffs and trade renegotiations won out in a fierce debate with White House economic advisor Gary Cohn, as Trump repeatedly derided the former Goldman Sachs COO as a “globalist.”
“Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change!” Trump wrote on Sunday. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 5, 2018