President-elect Donald Trump, in a statement that he isn’t planning to budge on the anti-China trade rhetoric that he voiced on the campaign trail, has chosen the author of the book and movie Death by China to head the new White House National Trade Council.
Despite Peter Navarro holding a Harvard Ph.D. and being a tenured Professor of Economics at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, he is not only the leading “trade hawk” about China’s calculated effort to overwhelm America economically, but he also wrote The Coming China Wars, arguing that China is a military threat to the United States.
For two decades, Navarro has been writing that China is an awakening dragon beleaguered by both internal and external threats: if the Japanese don’t get them, AIDS and SARS will. But he has relentlessly emphasized that China’s human and natural resources have made her a formidable global player, and her amoral ruthlessness in foreign policy suggested she would be a geopolitical winner.
He viewed China as undergoing its Industrial Revolution in the Information Age, but with a goal of transitioning from communism to capitalist imperialism. Navarro was the first analyst to understand how the Chinese government and industry had forged strong bonds to triumph in the global economy by exploiting what amounts to slave labor.
Navarro argued that China’s communist leadership would single-mindedly ignore international tensions; pollution; rapacious private medical care expenses; aging and an under-pensioned population; and a large and disgruntled peasant working class.
Death by China was apparently an eye-opener for Donald Trump, who read the book and saw the film before reaching out to Navarro as he contemplated running for President.
In a step-by-step analysis, Death by China pointedly confronta what Navarro saw as the most urgent problem facing America. He demonstrated how China by plan had systematically had been flooding U.S. markets with illegally subsidized products since 2001; wiped-out over 50,000 American factories; caused 25 million Americans to be unable to find a decent job; and left the United States more than $3 trillion dollars in debt to the world’s largest totalitarian nation.
In Navarro’s November 2015 book, Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World, Navarro explored the question “Will there be war with China?” to generate the most complete and accurate assessment of the probability of armed conflict between the United States and the rising Asian superpower. Navarro also laid out an in-depth analysis of how a militarily resolute United States was the only viable pathway to peace with China.
Navarro focuses like a laser on how the Chinese are deploying game-changing “carrier killer” ballistic missiles; how some of America’s supposed allies in Europe and Asia are selling highly lethal weapons systems to China in a perverse twist on globalization; and on how debilitating cutbacks in the military budget had sent a message to the world that America is not serious about its “pivot to Asia.”
The media seemed confused if the meaning of President-elect Trump’s telephone call with Taiwan’s President represented a potential challenge to the “One China Policy.” But nobody should be confused that appointing Peter Navarro to head White House National Trade Council is an economic in-their-face challenge to the Chinese dragon.
Disclosure: Chriss W. Street appeared in several sections of the documentary film Death by China as a financial subject matter expert regarding economic “comparative advantage.”