Internal White House
documents circulated by Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump’s top adviser on trade policy, have alleged without evidence that decreased manufacturing is causing an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility.
The documents were prepared and distributed by Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Some White House officials have expressed concern to the Post about the documents, which are not supported by any data.
However, a White House official said, “We don’t comment on purported internal documents.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly linked the decline in US
manufacturing to international trade agreements like North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), claiming that the deals are bad for US
workers and should be renegotiated.
The newspaper reported that Navarro has urged Trump to replace international trade deals with bilateral agreements. Navarro also supported Trump’s decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
His documents have alarmed White House officials working on trade policy. Such unverified information could end up steering White House policy, two administration officials told the newspaper, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the documents.
Navarro, who is an economist, is part of a small but influential group of White House advisers who believe decades of free trade policies have decimated the US manufacturing base and allowed other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Canada, to take advantage of the US.
They blame US imports for hurting national manufacturing, something Trump has promised to reverse.