AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
- White House trade adviser Peter Navarro compared the Wall Street Journal to a communist newspaper Thursday after its editorial board warned tariffs could upend the longest expansion on record.
- Growing trade tensions have raised concerns about the global economy, which was already slowing, and sent financial markets to their lowest levels of the year.
- "This is a warning the President should heed, and probably one Mr. Navarro won’t tell him," the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote.
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Peter Navarro, who is seen as the most hawkish trade adviser in the White House, compared the Wall Street Journal to a communist newspaper Thursday after its editorial board warned that growing economic disputes could upend the longest expansion on record.
"The Wall Street Journal will write what it writes," Navarro said in an interview on Fox Business Network on Thursday, referring to a Journal op-ed criticizing trade policy that was published this week. "It doesn’t sound a lot different from the People’s Daily in terms of the news that it puts out."
People’s Daily is the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. A spokesperson at the Journal, whose editorial board is known to express capitalist and conservative-leaning views, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
"Multiple reports out of the White House last week say President Trump overruled all of his economic advisers other than Peter Navarro when he decided to impose new tariffs on China," the editorial board wrote Wednesday. "Global and American economic conditions have been heading south ever since, so perhaps we should call this the Trump-Navarro trade-policy slowdown."
The op-ed added to a long string of concerns that have emerged since Trump said last Thursday he would slap a 10% tariff on virtually all imports from China on September 1, a move that several White House advisers had reportedly warned against. The announcement sparked a series of escalations between the largest economies, with China suggesting it would wield its currency and agricultural purchases to retaliate.
"We aren’t predicting a recession, but then few thought we were in a recession in mid-2008 either," the Journal’s op-ed said. "Economic downturns can sneak up on the smartest policy makers."
Hope for a deal to defuse tensions has dimmed substantially in recent months as the Trump administration struggled to pressure China to change trade policies seen as unfair. That has raised concerns about the global economy, which was already slowing, and sent financial markets to their lowest levels of the year.
"This is a warning the President should heed, and probably one Mr. Navarro won’t tell him," the editorial board wrote. "If Mr. Trump can’t strike a broader trade deal with China before the election, he should at least call a trade truce to reduce the damage.
They continued: "Economic expansions don’t end on their own. They almost always end due to policy mistakes. Mr. Trump’s willy-nilly trade offensive could be the mistake that turns a slowdown into the Navarro recession."
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