President Trump favors a fourth-round coronavirus stimulus bill “focused on bringing home our manufacturing base” and decoupling from China according to Chief Trade Adviser Peter Navarro.
Speaking with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Navarro described the “buy American, hire American, make it in the USA” initiatives that the White House would include in the next round of coronavirus stimulus spending.
He signaled support for a two trillion, manufacturing-focused program: “There’s talk about a three trillion program by Nancy Pelosi, [and] you hear from Mitch McConnell only one trillion. The president is very interested in something on the order of at least two trillion with the bulk of that focused on bringing home our manufacturing base starting with pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and equipment.”
“For me and for this president one of the key thrusts of any phase four and any economic plan going forward has to be manufacturing jobs – the focus on buy American, hire American, and make it in the USA. What we need to do as a country is to make more stuff here,” he noted. Navarro outlined tactics such as a payroll tax cut and policies resembling Japan’s resolve to “bring their manufacturing base home from China,” which he believes will ” create “more manufacturing jobs which tend to pay much higher wages.”
The plan is a reaction to the Trump administration’s “diagnosis” of the “problem [the Trump administration] is trying to solve with the phase four” spending:
“What I’m seeing is the China Virus, which has foisted a pandemic on this world and wreaked havoc with our economy, has particularly hit our major metropolitan areas. If you look at the China virus as kind of an ICBM coming in, it’s basically hit the twin pillars of our major cities which are the density, the highrise density, and the mass transit, and if you don’t have those working, then you can’t have a city. So we’ve got that to grapple with, and then at the same time, we’ve also got what I call the looter math. When you have an arsonist burn down a small business, you lose a hundred employees. When you have looters go in and loot a large business that’s thousands of employees. When you scale that up over major metroplitan areas, we calculate that’s close to two million jobs impacted. So what we have is a combination of the China virus attacking our major cities and we have this looter math coming into play.
Navarro, however, insists this the U.S. can “deal with this crisis”: “We had a president in three and a half years build the most beautiful economy in modern history. We can do it again, but it’s going to be a different strategy than the last time. First-time tax cuts, deregulation, cheap energy, and above all fair trade deals. We’re gonna do all of that but we’ve got to do more.” He emphasized the new economy is not “going to be not the old manufacturing economy, it’s going to be the SpaceX economy” replete with “American making stuff with high technology.”