IRVINE ( — A UC Irvine professor who played a key role on President-elect Donald Trump’s economic team during the campaign has been tapped to help shape trade policy for the White House.

Dr. Peter Navarro will serve as Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Industrial Policy under Trump as part of the formation of the White House National Trade Council (NTC), a Trump spokesperson announced Wednesdy.

The NTC is tasked with advising the President on trade negotiation strategy, coordination with other agencies to assess U.S. manufacturing capabilities and the defense industrial base, and help match unemployed American workers with new opportunities in the skilled manufacturing sector, officials said.

Navarro – who is also a Harvard Ph.D. economist – recently published a book titled “Death By China” in which he endorsed a hard line approach toward relations with China.

Trump favorably mentioned the book in an interview, and Navarro wrote Trump to thank him. Their correspondence grew from there.

His harsh critiques of global trade deals, and particularly China’s role in shaping the global economy, have informed much of Trump’s platform.

“I read one of Peter’s books on America’s trade problems years ago and was impressed by the clarity of his arguments and thoroughness of his research,” said Trump. “He has presciently documented the harms inflicted by globalism on American workers, and laid out a path forward to restore our middle class. He will fulfill an essential role in my administration as a trade advisor.”

“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to serve the President-elect and this nation and to advise on policies to rebalance our trade, rebuild our industrial base, and restore America’s comprehensive national power by making America great again,” said Navarro.

During the campaign, Navarro, together with Commerce Secretary-designee Wilbur Ross, worked to map out Trump’s trade and economic agenda with the goal of bringing back America’s manufacturing wealth.

“Peter Navarro is the best person President-elect Donald Trump could have chosen to head his National Trade Council,” said Ross. “We were a great team during the campaign, and we will be a great team during the Administration.”


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