White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro, under the secret pen name of Ron Vara, emailed a memo around Washington, making a case for more tariffs on China to continue forcing structural change in their economy, reported The New York Times.
"Much debate going on," Ron Vara wrote, referring to the current debate within the Trump administration whether to reduce tariffs or to go ahead with the next round on Dec. 15. "Here's one side that has not been in focus. Thoughts?"
The Times explained Ron Vara is a fictional character that Navarro created so that he could anonymously voice his trade opinion and influence the trade debate.
Navarro was uncovered as Ron Vara in Oct. by an Australian scholar.
The Times said Navarro had verified the authenticity of the memo:
"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," Navarro said. "This kind of active dialogue makes for the best possible decisions."
He added: "Such a free exchange of ideas is essential to the success of an administration that is simultaneously putting up the best economic numbers in a half-century and achieving success after success on the trade front." He described a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico that is on track to become law as "just the latest big win."
The memo says that the Trump administration should continue forcing significant structural changes in China's economy through waging a tariff war.
Ron Vara "riding Tariffs to victory" pic.twitter.com/4emUgk7HVn— 𝐏𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐨 (@pineconemacro) December 11, 2019
It also accuses China of ditching American farmers, something we've outlined several times in the last two weeks.
The memo states that President Trump's tariffs are protecting the economy and have had limited negative impacts on economic growth or the stock market.
It says that Trump could calm uncertainties by publicly stepping away from a deal: "Get uncertainty out of the market by announcing NO deal until after the election and ride the tariffs to victory."
In the last week, there have been mixed signals from some White House officials, who are in support of increasing tariffs, and others who want to see a rollback.
On Tuesday night, Navarro told Fox News that he has "no indication that December tariffs will not be put on."
Additionally, Navarro said that China "was trying to shape the narrative on trade talks to affect the futures market," and that is up to the Chinese if a trade deal can get done.
If President Trump listens to Navarro and the trade hawks, it seems that tariffs could be coming online on Dec. 15 or at least no trade deal until after the election.