The head of US President Trump’s National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, is quite suspicious about America’s place in the global economy. This week he has offered quite the bleak outlook on the future of American economics, warning that foreign companies buying up American corporations pose a major threat to national security.
More specifically, Navarro shares concern that the United States actually imports more than exports. That means the trade deficit is, effectively, working against American companies and American consumers, leaving out trading partners with lots of cash. Our trading partners then take [some of] this excess of cash to invest US treasuries, real estate, and stocks; sometimes buying up whole US-based companies.
Most economists, of course, see this activity as completely normal—just a part of typical global trade procedure that benefits all countries involved.
Navarro, on the other hand, sees things very differently: “Suppose instead that it is not a benign ally buying up our companies, our technologies, our farmland and our food supply chain, and ultimately controlling much of our defense industrial base. Rather it is a rapidly militarizing strategic rival intent on hegemony in Asia and perhaps world hegemony.”
Essentially, he warns that China, for example, could continue to grow its global influence and eventually—in theory—buy up important infrastructure elements like US defense contractors. He warns that this is one way a massive economic power could make an attempt to take over the world. As such, he warns, “We have already begun to lose control of our food supply chain.”
Economsit Joe Glauber, with the International Food Policy Research Institute nonprofit, agrees. He says, “It does tend to spook people and I think that that’s the real damage that’s being done right now.” Glauber also adds that US farmers and farm groups, alike, are concerned that various other countries are starting to consider looking at countries other than the United States to diversify their food supply imports. He advises: “They get concerned when they read reports that Mexico now is looking for potentially alternative sources of supply for soybeans and corn.”