China Critic Becomes Trade Policy Leader Under Trump

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump bashed China accusing the Communist country of currency manipulation, unfairly high tariffs, stealing American jobs, and militarizing the contested South China Sea. Now, the man who promised to bring back jobs may actually be sticking to his guns.

Trump has appointed Peter Navarro as director of trade and industrial policy for the newly-created National Trade Council. Who is this man? He’s a UC Irvine professor and one of Trump’s top economic advisors during his campaign. He’s also the author of such titles as “Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action,” “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World,” and “The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won.”

Navarro will be tasked with contributing to the creation of trade policies that “shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores,” according to a statement from Trump’s transition team.

But the economic sector is not the only front where Trump has continued his competition against Beijing. He recently said the U.S. can change course on supporting the One China Policy – the idea which makes Taiwan a breakaway province of China which may be taken back by force.

In response, China began beefing up its military presence above international airspace above Taiwan. This came ahead of Trump’s historic phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen – the move broke decades of policy norm in which there was no official contact between top American and Taiwanese officials.

But Beijing has more to scratch their heads about. A senior Taiwanese official recently announced that Tsai was planning to land on U.S. soil with a 90-strong delegation to meet with members of the United States Congress.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.