As President Trump's chief of staff John Kelly has imposed discipline on the White House, former San Diegan Peter Navarro is losing his power, says an article in Politico dated Monday, September 18. "Navarro has told people that he's 'miserable' under Kelly, and is worried about how long he'll last," says the publication.
From 1992 through 2001, Navarro ran unsuccessfully for mayor, county supervisor, city council, and Congress while he was in San Diego. He also did a series of articles about running for political office for the Reader. He left San Diego to be an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine, where he became a trade hawk, particularly aiming his invective gun at China in three books and many lectures. Navarro is so hostile to China that a Forbes writer said that Navarro "is not at all just a 'trade hawk' about China…[he is] a war hawk."
This attitude appealed to Donald Trump and particularly his aide, Steve Bannon, the nationalist who is now gone from the White House. Among the priorities for Navarro has been slapping tariffs on steel imports and withdrawing from the South Korea trade deal.
Navarro "reinforces Trump's worldview on trade, which many do not," said Trump friend Roger Stone to Politico. "The president may be the only one in the building besides Navarro who really wants to renegotiate NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement]."
"No one gives a damn what [Navarro] says other than Trump," a lobbyist told Politico. "With Bannon gone, they look at their watch when he talks."
But after Trump's hawkish, "America First" speech to the United Nations two days ago (September 19), Navarro may be back in the saddle with Trump, who, according to Politico, has asked, "Where's my Peter?" when Navarro is not at a meeting.