Donald Trump made railing against globalist trade deals central to his campaign.
And he was rewarded when states in the industrial Midwest like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all flipped from blue to red.
The President-elect also just made major announcements about the future of trade policy that left the globalists shocked.
In previous administrations, the position of the US trade representative has taken the lead on negotiations for America.
But Trump just announced Wilbur Ross – his nominee for Commerce Secretary – will run the point on trade.
Ross helped develop Trump’s America First trade policies, and many see his elevation as a sure sign Trump plans to stick to his guns on global trade deals.
“U.S. President-elect Donald Trump plans to put his pick for Commerce Secretary, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, in charge of his get-tough trade policy, a transition team spokesman said on Tuesday.
It is a signal of how Trump, who is also interviewing candidates to be the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), plans to elevate a crackdown on competitors in the world market and the overhaul of trade deals that he says have hurt U.S. factory jobs.
The USTR will not be merged with Commerce, but Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller made clear that most trade policy decisions would be steered by Ross, who made a good part of his fortune by investing in distressed steel companies that benefited from stiff import tariffs imposed by former President George W. Bush in the early 2000s.
“Mr. Ross not only has negotiated some very good deals over his lifetime, he’s also the person who worked closely with the president-elect on crafting his trade policy over the administration,” Miller told reporters during a daily transition briefing. “Mr. Ross will be playing a big role in any trade particulars in this administration.”
Trump’s transition team has already outlined in a memo that they plan to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
On the campaign trail, Trump would routinely blast NAFTA as the worst trade deal ever negotiated and that the TPP would allow Asian countries to continue to suck jobs out of America and decimate the middle class.
Trump also made a second announcement about administration personnel which gave another indication that his “America First” trade policy was more than just campaign rhetoric.
Trump campaign advisor Peter Navarro will be selected to lead a new trade council inside the White House.
Navarro is known as a critic of China and was a key advisor during the campaign on economic and trade policy.
“The formation of the National Trade Council further demonstrates the President-elect’s determination to make American manufacturing great again and to provide every American the opportunity to work in a decent job at a decent wage,” the transition office said in a news release. “Navarro is a visionary economist and will develop trade policies that shrink our trade deficit, expand our growth, and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores.”
The new office will advise Trump on trade negotiation strategies and work to boost domestic manufacturing and defense jobs. Its creation will almost surely cut the influence of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which has traditionally had authority over trade negotiations.
Navarro has long been a critic of China and its trade relationship with the United States. He has written books on the subject and created a documentary film titled, “DEATH BY CHINA: How America lost its manufacturing base.”
Both Navarro and Commerce Secretary Ross are strong on Trump’s get-tough-on trade policy proposals.
Politico also reports:
“Alongside Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for Commerce secretary, Navarro penned a white paper in September that backed the president-elect’s pledge to label China a currency manipulator and said that most of the trade deals America has entered into “must be renegotiated.” The paper also promised Trump would reduce the U.S. trade deficit by boosting exports, reducing “cheap imports” from countries like China and Mexico and promoting “Made in America” policies.
“Our view is that China’s leaders will quickly understand they are facing strength on the trade issue in Trump rather than the kind of weakness on trade that has characterized the Obama-Clinton years,” the paper says. “Just as these Chinese leaders have been exploiting American weakness by cheating in the trade arena, they will acknowledge the strength and resoluteness of Trump and rein in their mercantilist impulses.”