“President Trump must decide within days whether to proceed with the next round of tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods, which are slated to go into effect on Sunday. [Peter] Navarro, a senior trade adviser to Mr. Trump and a China skeptic, has cast doubt on the willingness of Beijing to meaningfully overhaul its trade practices and has advocated the tariffs as a tool to force China to change its behavior. He’s not the only one making that point. To illustrate those concerns, 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?”
“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 let’s get this straight: Peter Navarro is circulating official memos written by his invisible friend/alter-ego/nom-de-plume. Nothing weird going on here at all.
As you may recall, Comrade Stupid’s trade representative Navarro was discovered by Jared Kushner when he perused Amazon looking for a China hardliner.
Republished with permission from Mock Paper Scissors.