White House Trade Council director Peter Navarro joined Fox News Channel's Maria Bartiromo on 'Sunday Morning Futures' to talk about the Trump administration's new plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and other measures designed to reign in China's abuse of international trade rules. He said China was effectively running a "reverse mortgage" scam on the U.S. and we "won't have a country" without steel and aluminum production.
Navarro also revealed that the U.S. trade representative Robert Leitheiser would soon release a comprehensive plan to address China's trade abuses "head on."
Navarro said: "[The U.S. has] the lowest combination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers in the world. All we get out of that is massive trade deficits that ship off our wealth and ship off our jobs. And the president says: No mas!"
Navarro said steel and aluminum were "special cases" because "these are pillar industries of our national defense and national security."
"We can't have a country, as the president said, without those industries," Navarro said. "So from a purely national security point of view, that is why we're acting on steel and aluminum."
"By the way, the president started talking about these specific actions in Pittsburgh in the summer of 2016," he added. "So having him give that speech last night really brought everything full circle."
"We've been 'uncle sucker,' Maria. We have these large trade deficits simply because we're an open market. all we're looking for is fair and reciprocal trade. All we're doing here is defending two key industries so we can help and come to their defense when they need us," he added.
He also cited Warren Buffet on "conquest by purchase," saying that debt owed to China "is like a reverse mortgage."
"I care about the children who are going to inherit this country, and we're not going to have a country if we keep running these deficits and we don't have aluminum and steel industries... On the chessboard, we have to defend our aluminum and steel industries, no doubt about it."
"China is a very bad actor when it comes to trade practices, across the board on a lot of things, but nothing is more important in the near term than addressing the theft of our intellectual property, and the forced technology transfer from our companies," he explained. "Now the president says that isn't going to happen anymore."
"When we go into [trade] deficits with them, they run into places like Silicon Valley, flush with American dollars, and they buy up startup companies that are on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, robotics, and everything we're going to need," he said. "If we don't have the industries of the future, we don't have a future.