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1. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin who enticed children into a mountain cave and never seen again, the White House incumbent has misled his followers into believing that he is the "Chosen One" to win the trade war against China.|
There is a Chinese idiom ("Wu ren zi di 误人子弟) used to describe any incompetent teacher who misguides students by feeding them with false teachings. How many more "President Good Brains" will the Navarro craps mislead into the White House?
In actuality, China is not negotiating with Trump in the so-called trade talks but his inside man on trade.
Any hope from the trade talks? Any hope for free international trade with America? The answers are very obvious.
2. Steven Mufson covers the business of climate change. Since joining The Washington Post in 1989, he has covered economic policy, China, diplomacy, energy and the White House. Earlier he worked for The Wall Street Journal in New York, London and Johannesburg.
The following are excerpts from Steven Mufson's February 17, 2017 article headlined "Meet Mr. ‘Death by China,’ Trump’s inside man on trade".
If President Trump were to make a movie encapsulating his feelings about China, it might look a lot like this:
A red, white and blue ball with the word “jobs” appears on the screen. It rolls under the portrait of Mao Zedong through an animated Gate of Heavenly Peace, the iconic entrance in Beijing. There, where the ancient Forbidden City should be, belching smokestacks jut skyward.
Words then roll against a black background, saying that 57,000 American factories have disappeared since China joined the World Trade Organization and “began flooding American markets with illegally subsidized exports.” Next, a bread knife with the words “Made in China” is plunged into a map of the United States and animated blood runs out, trickling into the title: “Death by China.”
The movie actually exists, and it was written, produced and directed by Peter K. Navarro, a 67-year-old professor in the University of California at Irvine’s business school who is the head of the new White House National Trade Council. His task: to help rewrite the rules of global trade, from Mexico to China to Britain, and to bring back American manufacturing and jobs.
“The best jobs program is trade reform with China,” Navarro says in the movie, which is narrated by Martin Sheen, who starred in “Apocalypse Now” and as liberal hero President Josiah Bartlet in the TV series “West Wing.”
Navarro’s ideas have been widely criticized by other economists. “The biggest source of U.S. economic challenges and the biggest set of solutions are to be found in domestic policy,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama. “While international issues and a level playing field all matter, China is not the source of every problem, nor is doing something about China the answer to every problem.”
But Navarro has struck such a chord with Trump that he could end up playing an outsize role in the administration’s economic policy. The president’s announcement of his appointment called him “a visionary economist.”
“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,” Trump said in a statement. “He has presciently documented the harms inflicted by globalism on American workers, and laid out a path forward to restore our middle class.”
Few of the people Trump has brought into the White House seem to be so in tune with the president. And for the moment at least, he has filled a policy vacuum by being visible while other Cabinet nominees struggle with confirmation.
Navarro has been one of just a handful of White House officials at Trump’s side for the signing of executive orders, such as withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and blocking federal funds for groups that provide abortions or abortion counseling....
Although he didn’t describe any mechanisms, Navarro also listed about a dozen more specific trade goals, including boosting the number of U.S. parts in imported finished goods; developing tools to punish currency manipulation; cracking down on intellectual property theft that Navarro said cost $300 billion a year and “steals the seeds of innovation for the future”; and restricting heavily subsidized, state-owned enterprises.
He also said that World Trade Organization decisions had been “unfair” to the United States and that Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement had allowed Canadian softwood lumber exporters to avoid duties. Navarro said that the Canadians “have played us.”
And like Trump, Navarro has put other countries on notice that the United States would confront its major trading partners even when they are close allies. In a Jan. 31 interview with the Financial Times, Navarro sent shock waves through Europe when he said that Germany was getting an unfair competitive advantage by manipulating the euro to lower its value and make its exports cheaper.
Navarro got his start in politics at the local level — as a Democrat. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of San Diego in 1992, city council in 1993, county supervisor in 1994 and Congress in 1996.
“My citizen activism is a direct outgrowth of a classical and fiscally conservative training in economics at Harvard,” he wrote in “San Diego Confidential,” a revealing, cutting and readable memoir of his years in politics there. “It is a perspective rooted in one of the most important concepts in economics — the need for government intervention in the presence of a market failure.”...
But instead of running for county supervisor, a race he might have won, Navarro jumped into the San Diego mayor’s race. His opponent, Susan Golding, launched three negative ads and he responded with an ad attacking Golding, whose ex-husband was convicted of laundering illegal drug money. Ahead in the polls going into the last weekend of the race, Navarro attacked her again in a televised debate. In tears, she called the attacks on her family unfair; Navarro accused her of rehearsing the response and came off as dismissive. He lost.
Years later, he wrote that he still thought about “the one that got away.”
“He was almost the mayor,” said Larry Remer, a political consultant who worked on three of Navarro’s campaigns after that one. “He flubbed it, is what really happened.”
Remer said Navarro was a hard-working candidate who “realized the need to stay on a clear, concise message, a lot like ‘make America great again.’ Nothing could appeal to people in San Diego more than saying ‘not L.A.’ ”
But, he added, what undid Navarro as a candidate was his personality. “He would just burn through volunteers,” Remer said.
“He’s not quite as prickly as Trump, but he has the same ego issues.”
(To be continued)