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President Trump's top trade advisor, economist Peter Navarro, is arguing that it is imperative for U.S. national security interests to reduce the trade deficit, in both a new Wall Street Journal op-ed and during a talk Monday at the National Association of Business Economics.

"Running large and persistent trade deficits facilitates a pattern of wealth transfers offshore," Navarro writes, arguing that if this wealth comes in the form of industries critical to national defense, it could be devastating to security.

Make America safer, but poorer: Navarro notes that the U.S. doesn't house a "single company that can make flat-panel displays for military aircraft or night-vision goggles," as an example of how free-trade globalism has hurt national security. But in order for this to become the case, the U.S. would have to be suffering under trade embargoes from every nation that makes flat-panel displays, and all of their trade partners too. If military experts see this as likely, passing laws to require domestic production of flat-panel displays would be prudent. But it will cost taxpayers more for such an arrangement, right at the time when the President is trying to increase the efficiency of defense spending.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.