Friday, December 13, 2019

Trump's Trade Adviser Circulates Anti-Trade Memo, Around Washington, Using Alter-Ego

Peter Navarro
A critical decision about China tariffs is looming, and Ron Vara, Peter Navarro’s hawkish alter ego, has re-emerged to share some thoughts on the matter, reports The New York Times.

The Times explains:
Ron Vara is the fictional character that Mr. Navarro created and cited as an expert more than a dozen times in five of his 13 books, where he offered searing critiques of China. Mr. Navarro’s use of the fabricated source emerged in October after an Australian scholar reviewed all of Mr. Navarro’s writing and discovered that one of his sources was imaginary.
So what is Navarro, er, Vara up to now?

More from The Times:
Mr. Navarro harnessed his literary muse, Ron Vara, in a memo that is circulating in Washington. Sent from an email address purportedly belonging to Ron Vara, the memo highlights public commentary in favor of keeping the pressure on China with more tariffs.

“Much debate going on,” Ron Vara wrote, referring to the decision about whether to roll back or double down on China tariffs. “Here’s one side that has not been in focus. Thoughts?”...

Mr. Navarro confirmed the authenticity of the memo. It is not clear how widely it was distributed.

“On a daily basis, I speak to, or correspond with, people that I respect, and don’t necessarily agree with, to receive their thoughts on issues critical to American workers and the American people,” Mr. Navarro said. “This kind of active dialogue makes for the best possible decisions.”
Navarro in the memo includes a "NO deal until after the election and ride the tariffs to victory” position.

Of course, this is sheer nuttiness. The trade war is hurting farmers and some manufacturers. Trump needs these people in the poll booth in November 2020 voting for him. He will cut a deal with China and declare victory.  Indeed, wire reports indicate that a deal has been reached and only requires the President's signature.

Of course, if he is re-elected, things could change dramatically after the election. Trump is sympathetic to Navaro's perspective and we could see tariffs approved by way of the President's pen against all sorts of countries and products.


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