WASHINGTON -- The U.S. will make bilateral deals central to the country's trade policy after its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to a top trade adviser to the Donald Trump administration. The comments were made by Peter Navarro on Sunday on a U.S. TV program.
The view by Navarro, hand-picked by Trump to head the National Trade Council, is seen as an indication that a comprehensive bilateral free trade deal may emerge as a key item at the meeting between the new president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scheduled for Feb. 10 in Washington.
The National Trade Council is a new presidential advisory body on trade strategies in the White House. The council was created by the Trump administration, and it leads Washington's trade policy in collaboration with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department.
Navarro, an economist who specializes in U.S.-China trade issues, advised Trump on economic policy during his presidential campaign.
In Sunday's TV appearance, Navarro, responding to a view that the U.S. withdrawal from TPP may benefit China, said trade negotiations with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand will become a viable alternative.