Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy in UCI's Paul Merage School of Business, will lead president-elect Donald Trump's newly created trade council. Credit: UCI

Peter Navarro, a professor of economics in the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, was selected Wednesday, Dec. 21, by President-elect Donald Trump to oversee a newly created White House National Trade Council. Described by many as a “China hawk,” Navarro wrote Death by China: How America Lost its Manufacturing Base, and produced an accompanying documentary that argued for an aggressive stance against unfair trade practices such as currency manipulation, exploitation of workers, and intellectual property law violation. Trump made trade a key issue in his campaign and decried what he said was a history of bad deals for the U.S. “I read one of Peter’s books on America’s trade problems years ago and was impressed by the clarity of his arguments and thoroughness of his research,” Trump said in a statement. “He has presciently documented the harms inflicted by globalism on American workers, and laid out a path forward to restore our middle class.” Navarro, 67, earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1986 and has taught economics and public policy at UCI since 1989. He has been an innovator in online education. “Peter Navarro does a good job designing courses and is one of our most productive professors in that area,” said Gary Matkin, dean of continuing education. “At the end of last school year he had three MOOCs that had a total of 195,590 enrolled and about 150,000 of those classified as ‘active learners.’ ”