‘Death by China’ Author to Head U.S. Trade Council12/22/2016
President-elect Donald Trump announced the appointment of University of California, Irvine economics professor Peter Navarro, an outspoken critic of China, to head the new White House National Trade Council and serve as director of trade and industrial policy. The academic was an adviser to Trump during the election campaign.
Navarro’s books include “The Coming China Wars” and “Death by China,” in which he is deeply critical of Chinese policy. “Death by China” was adapted into a documentary film narrated by Martin Sheen, on which Navarro is credited as both writer and director. It is available to watch for free on YouTube. In its preamble, he urges viewers “help defend America and protect your family – don’t buy ‘Made in China’.”
The film highlights the sustained loss of American manufacturing jobs at a time of Chinese economic growth, as a well as the environmental impact of Chinese industry.
During the election, the president-elect made trade issues a core campaign issue, criticizing some deals made with countries like China and Mexico.
Trump has already angered China by speaking with the Taiwanese president by phone, in violation of the U.S.’s decades-long “one China” policy. He has also openly criticized China in outbursts on Twitter, recently accusing them of devaluing their currency to impede US competition, among other claims.
Many other economists, however, fear that aggressive moves against Chinese trade could prompt a “trade war,” with repercussions on both sides.