Trump Adviser Floats a New Energy Agreement to Make US ‘the New Saudi Arabia’

During a Q&A at the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested the potential for a North American energy agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico “that would just dominate the world.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s economic policy adviser Peter Navarro is in agreement, saying that it could dwarf the rest of the world in production.

In a telephone interview with Independent Journal Review, Navarro called the proposition of a North American natural resources agreement a “visionary thing” because of the superior manufacturing possibilities not seen in other energy-prevalent countries:

“I mean North America, well Canada, the U.S. and Mexico working together could certainly be the new Saudi Arabia of the world and that would be a tremendous competitive advantage because unlike Saudi Arabia, it’s not a desert with no manufacturing capacity. You’re a powerhouse that could dominate the world economy.”

Navarro, who along with international private equity investor Wilbur Ross, recently authored a 31-page white paper on Trump’s economic plan, added that “the new technology that has emerged in the last five to ten years has given us the possibility of being energy independent.”

And Navarro said that American growth strategy could be bolstered if it were seen as symbiotic with tax policy, noting the United States’s considerably high corporate tax rate:

“I mean the problem with the corporate tax is that it pushes from Michigan to Mexico. It pushes our companies from Ohio to Shanghai [China]. We want that down to 15 percent and get that investment here. So I think one of the problems is a lot of the people who are strictly thinking about taxes miss the bigger picture of how tax policy fits in to growth policy.”

“We think the best way to balance the budget is to double the growth rate in the economy and generate trillions of additional revenue,” Navarro said.

Navarro also said that Trump’s end goal of three-and-a-half percent growth rate for the U.S. economy is “absolutely” attainable by the end of Trump’s first term.

But Navarro also cautioned that the growth rate of the American economy could be well below one percent by the time a President Donald Trump would be sworn in this coming January:

“It’s gonna be harder to get up to three-and-a-half from a zero percent growth rate than it is from a two percent growth rate.”

The Trump economic plan employs various forms of protectionism and “America first” themes in an attempt to bring the United States back to its manufacturing heyday.

Navarro and Ross’s white paper claims that tariffs “will be used not as an end game but rather as a negotiating tool to encourage our trading partners to cease cheating.” It goes further, adding:

“If, however, the cheating does not stop, Trump will impose appropriate defensive tariffs to level the playing field.”

While Trump’s strategy to refurbish the U.S. economy features policies reviled by Republicans and Democrats alike, Navarro and Ross also write in the white paper that “the Trump economic plan is much more than just about taxes.”

Rather, the white papers notes, “[the] Trump plan also grows the economy much faster than Hillary Clinton’s plan to raise taxes, increase regulation, stifle our energy sector, and continue the trade deficit status quo.”

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