U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced the creation of the White House National Trade Council, and said it would be headed by Peter Navarro, an outspoken China critic and co-author, along with Greg Autry, of the book Death by China. Peter Navarro is a professor of economics and public policy at the University of California — Irvine, and Trump has singled out Navarro’s work as influencing his views on trade.
‘Death by China’
Published in 2011, Death by China provides an insight into China’s military buildup, product quality concerns, human rights abuses, and the ballooning U.S. trade deficit under the banner of free trade.
The authors spent a considerable amount of time in China gathering first-hand evidence for their work, while gaining valuable insight into China’s relationship with the U.S. When naming Navarro as the leader of the newly created National Trade Council, Trump said:
“This important document depicts our problem with China with facts, figures, and insight.”
Much of Trump’s campaign platform regarding China was based upon information in the book, including imposing 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports, introducing stronger measures against Chinese cyber attacks on U.S. websites, cracking down on Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, narrowing the Sino-American trade deficit, boycotting products made in China, and listing China as a country that indulges in currency manipulation.
The authors exposed the high costs of China’s pursuit of rapid economic growth. These include labor abuse, severe environmental destruction, and the export of unethical and toxic food products, with the U.S. being the major destination. The authors further point out that despite joining the WTO, China has expanded its global reach to include finances, energy, and the media. More importantly, China continues to expand its military presence and perseveres in sabotaging global affairs.
The authors also cite the Chinese Communist Party, which is condemned for human rights abuses. The authors support this claim with evidence of these abuses, including the practice of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.
Using facts and a large amount of collected data, the authors expose China’s dark side. Alongside condemning their underhanded practices, the authors puts forward workable solutions. They emphasize that it is not the country or the culture that they oppose, but rather the ruling regime. The authors both love Chinese culture, and they have many Chinese friends who they hope will be able to experience real freedom one day.
Translated by Cecilia and edited by Kathy McWilliams.