Donald Trump’s Trade Team Has Based Their Analysis on a Remarkably Silly Mistake

Matthew Yglesias: “…Trump has stated his intention to make Commerce Secretary (and billionaire investor) Wilbur Ross the lead authority on trade negotiations. The other is that he is tapping University of California economist Peter Navarro for a brand new White House job, heading up something Trump is calling the National Trade Council.”

“This makes sense, since Ross and Navarro were the co-authors of an important policy paper the Trump campaign put out during the election season that mostly focused on trade issues.”

“Unfortunately, the paper’s discussion of trade was incredibly shoddy. George Mason University’s Scott Sumner describes as ‘a complete mess,’ which, if anything, is too kind. When Adam Davidson profiled Navarro for the New Yorker, he wrote that even when he asked Navarro to help him out, he couldn’t find a single other economist who fully agreed with him on trade and China. Which is about what you would expect, since the Ross/Navarro trade policy analysis is based on a mistake that would get you flunked out of an AP economics class.”

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