Earlier today President Trump spoke candidly with the White House assembly of U.S. Governors about the critical need to re-evaluate their position(s) on trade. President Trump’s remarks were direct, but also remarkably nuanced toward the audience. However, if you follow Trump’s process, you’ll note the familiar indications.
Next, far less subtle and yet following along the same predictable process, the Wall Street Journal is reporting President Trump now promoting his economic guru Peter Navarro to be Assistant to The President. Navarro is a brilliant and strategic trade hawk who has a long track record of supporting the same trade principles as Donald Trump.
A NAFTA decision/announcement looms. ♦ As expected and predicted, a recent phone call by Mexican President Pena Nieto to POTUS Trump didn’t end well. ♦ USTR Lighthizer blasted Canada at the end of round six NAFTA renegotiation. ♦ Placing Pete Navarro inside the circle puts him directly in the right place to speak on behalf of President Trump for an upcoming announcement. All of these NAFTA exit indicators are great news.
Our wolverine team is growing. Now we have Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Asst. To POTUS Peter Navarro, all assembled.
WASHINGTON—The White House plans to promote an adviser known for his hawkish views on trade policy, giving economic nationalists a stronger voice in internal debates as the Trump administration nears decisions on high-profile trade issues.
Peter Navarro, an economist who helped shape Donald Trump’s 2016 protectionist campaign platform, will be named an assistant to the president, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Mr. Navarro began Mr. Trump’s presidency with broad influence and regular access to the Oval Office but his role was quickly limited after he clashed with the aides who oppose his views on trade deficits and multilateral trade agreements.
The move to elevate Mr. Navarro comes as the White House is nearing decisions on several high-profile trade matters.
The administration faces an April deadline on whether to impose broad-based steel and aluminum tariffs in the name of national security. Officials are also completing an investigation on widespread complaints that China improperly forces U.S. companies to turn over valuable intellectual property, a probe that is expected to result in significant economic sanctions against Beijing.
It is unclear exactly how Mr. Navarro’s role will change, but the promotion is likely to give Mr. Navarro a more regular role in trade debates and meetings at the White House, according to the person familiar with the matter, a trade expert who has discussed the move with White House officials.
“This gives Peter a more formal seat at the table when trade and manufacturing policies are discussed,” this person said. “That’s something that has been in question the last six months.” (link)