White House adviser says Trump wants ‘at least $2 trillion’ for next coronavirus stimulus package

President Donald Trump would like to see the next coronavirus relief package include support for manufacturing jobs and “at least $2 trillion” in relief funds, according to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Navarro was interviewed by Fox Business on Friday and spoke about the stimulus package. Navarro spoke about  how Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has pushed for a $3 trillion stimulus package and Sen. Mitch McConnell has said he expects about a $1 trillion package. According to Navarro, he would like the package to sit right in the middle of these two proposed package costs. Navarro was chosen as Trump’s policy coordinator for the Defense Production Act, which was implemented to help the country during the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

“The president is very interested in something on the order of at least $2 trillion,” Navarro told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday evening. “We have to have a payroll tax cut. That’s critical for creating the appropriate incentives for employers to keep workers working.”

Navarro also said the next boost to the economy would come from a “Buy American” push, which would mean U.S. defense and other government departments would buy pharmaceuticals and medical supplies from American manufacturers.

“We need to make our medicines here, we need to make our masks here, our ventilators and all of that,” he said.

“For me and for this president, one of the key thrusts of any phase four — and any economic plan — going forward has to be manufacturing jobs, a focus on buy American, hire American, make it in the U.S.A.,” Navarro said. “What we need to do as a country is to make more stuff here.”

Navarro had insight on the additional payments of $1,200 or more for Americans. House Democrats in late May included such payments in their proposed bill. That coronavirus relief stimulus package would dole out about $3 trillion, costing more than the four coronavirus bills combined. It would deliver almost $1 trillion for state and local governments, another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals and help for the unemployed, renters and homeowners, college debt holders and the struggling U.S. Postal Service.

Republicans had scoffed at such a plan, calling the package bloated. When the bill was discussed, Trump said he foresaw a plan for additional relief, but he did not specify what budget would be required.

“Phase Four is going to happen,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, using Washington insider-speak for the measure. “But it’s going to happen in a much better way for the American people.”

Since the uprising across the country of protests following the death of George Floyd, legislators and the president have been focused on answering questions about police reform and assessing the damage to businesses in communities where looting and vandalism have taken place.