Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, defended President Donald Trump’s announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs on Thursday.
“We can’t really have a country without a solid steel industry and without a solid aluminum industry, and right now, those industries are under siege,” Navarro said in an interview on Breitbart News Saturday with Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle on SiriusXM Patriot 125.
Navarro decried the “hair on fire” reaction from cable news and the press, calling it the “biggest bunch of horse-puckey that you can imagine.”
He said that the ten percent tariff on aluminum would only raise the cost of a six-pack of beer by about a cent-and-a-half and would only raise the construction cost of a $330 million 777 Dreamliner by about $25,000.
“There’s virtually no downstream effects, despite what the pundits might be saying on TV, and it’s all good for the aluminum industry,” he said.
Trump plans to sign the new tariffs next week.
“It’s going to be a great day for America. It was a great day on Thursday when he announced it,” Navarro said, “because we need strong aluminum and steel industries if we are going to have a country.”
Navarro said that the steel and aluminum industries had diminished considerably in just the last five years. He praised the president for recognizing the industry needed to be stabilized for the sake of national and economic security. China’s strategy of economic aggression, he explained, was an effort to flood the market with subsidized production capacity that forced out competitors.
Navarro praised Trump for being the first candidate to finally take trade issues seriously, reminding Americans that he easily beat 16 Republican candidates and Hillary Clinton in 2016 with his fair trade agenda.
“I think the record is clear on these free trade agreements. They always are done with promises for significant jobs for Americans and significant access to markets, and we always lose dramatically once the ink is signed,” he said.
Navarro explained that companies frequently moved factories and manufacturing jobs offshore and abandoned American workers.
“President Trump simply will not tolerate that, and as a candidate, he ran on the platform, and as president, he’s taking firm steps across a wide range of activities to make sure that the American people are defended against these unfair practices,” he said.
Listen to the full interview below: