Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro: ‘We love tariffs’

President Trump's tariff battle with China saved two key U.S. industries that were almost to the brink of extinction, according to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.

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“We would not have a steel and aluminum industry if President Trump hadn’t put those tariffs in,” he said Thursday on “Mornings with Maria." “Instead, what we have is vibrant steel and aluminum.”

The Trump administration imposed import tariffs on steel and aluminum as a defense mechanism against Beijing’s theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, which remains the central reason the White House has taken an aggressive stance against the trade imbalance with China.

“What the tariffs do…is basically defend the industries from dump steel that’s a good thing,” he said.

China, the world’s second-biggest economy, dropped to its slowest economic pace since 1992, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Navarro said Beijing has been paying the burden of Trump’s tariffs.

“The Chinese producers are seeing fewer exports, lower profits,” he said. “So, we love tariffs. Tariffs are a wonderful thing.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Beijing’s top diplomats discussed ways to promote positive U.S.-China ties amid tensions over ongoing trade negotiations.

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, poses with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, before they proceed to their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Wednesday, May 1,

Navarro added the U.S. delegation of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had constructive talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Shanghai this week and urged the American public to be patient.