MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) - As a trade war intensifies between the U.S. and China, President Trump's trade assistant defended his policies during a number of stops in Wisconsin Monday.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro speaks at Marinette Marine on May 13, 2019 (WBAY photo)
One of those stops was at Marinette Marine.
Peter Navarro is the White House Director of of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. This was his first visit to Marinette Marine, and he used the opportunity to tour the plant and also as a backdrop to explain why the country must improve its trade deficit with China.
It was almost like a campaign stop as Navarro touted the success of President Donald Trump and his policies on trade, saying it's helped to secure Wisconsin's manufacturing base.
"I've said for many years, as has the president, that trade deficits are bad because they transfer our wealth, they slow our growth, and they take our jobs, take our factories," Navarro said, "and if we can get that trade deficit down to sound trade policies that level the playing field, we grow faster and be more prosperous."
Navarro was joined at Marinette Marine by the Secretary of the Navy along with congressmen Mike Gallagher and Glenn Grothman.
For them, it was a chance to see some of faces who construct the littoral combat ships that carry so many sailors.
"We sit there and inside the Pentagon, and we sign contracts and look at requirements and we pay for stuff. It's great to come out and actually see the people who are spending their life and their skills building us what we need to live the way that we live," Secretary Richard V. Spencer said.
The visit comes as Marinette Marine hopes to win a new Navy contract in 2020 that's likely to be very competitive.
"What I was heartened by as I was talking to some of the fine people here," Navarro said, "is how they've been able to improve the production process here, reduce the amount of time it takes to build the ship, reducing the cost, and that kind of learning that's going on here will position them well for the next contract."
Secretary Spencer and Navarro also made another stop in Northeast Wisconsin at Oshkosh Defense.