Fox Business | 18 December 2019
Trump adviser hints at next big trade deal
By Jonathan Garber
President Trump just wrapped up two huge trade agreements that will bring hundreds of thousands of jobs to America, and now his administration is setting its sights on another one — with India.
The Asian nation is America’s ninth-largest trading partner, accounting for some $143 billion in goods and services transactions, and Washington wants New Delhi to lower its duties on U.S. products.
“I like to joke, India is the maharajah of tariffs,” Peter Navarro, director of the office of trade and manufacturing policy and assistant to the president, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo exclusively. “They literally have the highest tariffs in the world of any large country.”
Trump is a "big fan of the Reciprocal Trade Act," which would allow the U.S. to match tariffs from a trading partner, he said. "Ninety percent of the time, India charges us higher tariffs than we charge them," Navarro said, citing a study he performed.
The U.S. also has a $25.2 billion trade deficit with the country, and such imbalances have been a target of Trump’s ire, though economists say they’re not inherently problematic.
"We’ve got to get India to belly up to that bar and lower tariffs and make nice with trade," Navarro said.
Trump adviser Peter Navarro at the White House in July, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Trump has already completed trade agreements with China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Japan, which account for more than half of all of U.S. trade.
Last week, House Democrats signed off on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which when fully implemented could raise GDP by 1.2 percentage points and create more than 550,000 new jobs, according to the International Trade Commission.
A partial trade agreement with China, which is aimed at helping reduce a yearly trade imbalance of more than $300 billion, was reached last week. As part of the deal, China agreed to buy $200 billion of U.S. products in the next two years from the manufacturing, energy, agriculture and services sectors, in addition to protecting against intellectual property theft and technology transfer.
Navarro noted the stock market is a "leading indicator in the economy" and Trump has "built the strongest economy in modern history." He stuck by the stock-market call he made earlier this year.
"I predicted 30,000 on the Dow if USMCA got passed and we got lower interest rates, both of those things are going to be in place," Navarro said. "I’m thinking 30,000 maybe in January.”
The blue-chip index closed at 28,267 on Tuesday, Dec. 17.