Peter Navarro, head of the White House National Trade Council, joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss various trade issues, including the challenges countries that bend or break the rules set forth in major trade agreements pose.
“We’ve got tremendous dumping of steel into our country and aluminum into our country – all manner of products being sold in our country at below cost, stealing American jobs or depressing wages,” he said.
Navarro promised early and aggressive action against dumping.
“For example, if China dumps one kind of steel into our market, and we get an anti-dumping complaint successfully prosecuted, and start putting duties on them, the next thing they’ll do is send in a different kind of steel to evade the duties,” he explained. “And then if we crack down on that, then they’ll go to Vietnam and import the steel from Vietnam. That’s called diversionary dumping. And in the meantime, more and more people in Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and West Virginia go out and get out of work because we’re not mining the coal for steel plants or making steel. That will not happen any longer in a Donald Trump presidency.”
China has figured prominently in critiques of current trade practices written by both Navarro and President Trump.
“With any given country that we have a big deficit with – China, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Vietnam, India – it’s a different set of problems and a different set of solutions,” Navarro said. “The biggest problem with China is its cheating and its currency problems. The cheating we just can’t abide by, and the cheating is pervasive. It’s not just the fact that they dump into our markets things like steel and aluminum. It’s also the fact that they steal all of our intellectual property. This is a very serious matter.”
“A lot of people naively, in government and in the general public, think that we’re the greatest nation in the world, we have the greatest technology, and, therefore, we’re always going to win the economic battle,” he said. “The problem there is if your strategic rival, like China, steals all your intellectual property and then is able to produce at lower cost because of government subsidies. They win the game in the end.”
“This is an economic battle,” Navarro declared, urging those who fear the beginning of a “trade war” to realize we’re already in one with China, and it began at least fifteen years ago.
“We’ve basically been getting our butt kicked,” he said. “We need to recognize the nature of the conflict and take all necessary measures to defend American workers, defend American manufacturers, and that’s my job at the National Trade Council.”
Navarro decried the willingness of previous administrations to “sacrifice our factories and our workers on the altar of foreign policy.”
“I’ll give you an example: for years now, we have been trading away economic favors to China in exchange for the hope – not the reality, the hope – that they would bring North Korea’s nuclear program under control. They have not done that. We’ve seen test after test by the North Koreans. They’re getting closer and closer to being able to send a missile to Seattle or San Francisco or San Diego. Meanwhile, there continues to be a line of thinking in government, in the defense establishment and foreign policy wonks, that somehow if we give China something on the economy, they’re going to give us something on North Korea. It’s a fool’s game,” he said.
“One of the principles of the Trump administration is that we will never sacrifice our economy on the altar of foreign policy,” Navarro declared, citing President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as a demonstration of that commitment.
“That was a bad deal for America that was conceived by foreign policy people, not by economists,” he said. “It’s dead. Long live free and fair trade, but that damn thing is dead.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.