National Interest - January 25, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, China became perhaps the most important topic of Donald Trump’s foreign-policy and economic speeches. He has often accused Beijing of “taking advantage” of the U.S. economy and manipulating its currency, which has provided favorable conditions for Chinese exporters to dominate the American consumer-goods market. Thus he explained the vast deficit in the U.S. trade relations with China. Within the first ten months of 2016 alone, the trade deficit with China amounted to $289 billion.
To improve this state of affairs, Trump has threatened to introduce tariffs to raise the price of Chinese goods in the U.S. market by up to 45 percent. To revisit U.S. trade relations with its partners, primarily with China, Trump established a new division within the administration—the National Trade Council—and appointed the academic Peter Navarro to lead it. Navarro is well-known for his stark views against Chinese policies on a wide range of issues, from trade and China-Taiwan relations to Chinese policy towards the East China and South China seas.