Saturday, March 10, 2018

Trump's Top Trade Adviser is the Guy Who Supported Obama's Banning of the Incandescent Light Bulb

Peter Navarro
By Erick Erickson

Peter Navarro is not a household name, but he should be for the damage he wants to do to the American economy. He is a left-wing academic from California. His economic ideas tend to be on the fringe and he has largely been rejected by both Democrats and Republicans. But Navarro, a man who supported Barack Obama banning the incandescent light bulb, has captured the imagination of one man: Donald Trump.

President Trump named Navarro his Director of the National Trade Council, a new organization within the White House with the purpose of advising the president in trade negotiations. Other White House staff members have largely blocked Navarro from the president over the past year. Many White House insiders have noted that Navarro had limited access to the president. But as the competent members of the Administration have left or been fired, Navarro has patiently waited them out.

Liberal and conservative economists have long ago acknowledged that tariffs lead to economic disaster. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law, raising tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods. The effect was to exacerbate the conditions of and prolong the Great Depression. Liberal economists like Paul Krugman and conservative economists like Milton Friedman agreed that the tariffs did not trigger the Depression, but they also agree that the tariffs worsened the situation. Other countries started a trade war with the United States, and what could have been a quicker departure from depression became a prolonged quagmire.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. It was George Bush who signed the legislation that phased out the incandescent light bulb. But the phase out did not fully occur until the second term of Obama in December 2013/January 2014.