Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro has struck a hawkish tone toward China for decades in books and columns in which he cited an economist who was also highly critical of China; an economist who went so far as to say you shouldn't eat Chinese food.
This is why Trump chose Navarro for the job. Trump wanted someone who would be on his side; as irrational as his side may be. He wanted someone who would support his trade war with China.
Trump got that when he hired Navarro, but he also apparently hired a fraud. The Chronicle Review reports that the wealthy, Harvard-trained economist and investor regularly cited by Navarro is actually himself.
Ron Vara has strong opinions. He thinks you’ve “got to be nuts to eat Chinese food.” He doles out little scraps of wisdom, like “Don’t play checkers in a chess world.” Vara is a military veteran and Harvard-trained economist who made seven figures in the stock market by investing in companies that do well during international crises. His contrarian savvy earned him an ominous-sounding nickname: Dark Prince of Disaster.
Vara makes frequent cameos in the books of Peter Navarro, a White House adviser who is often referred to as Trump’s “China muse.” [...]
Navarro has quoted Vara a dozen or so times in six books, usually as an epigraph before a chapter. In Death by China, published in 2011, Vara offers this sweeping assessment of the country’s roughly 1.4 billion people: “Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel.”
So who is Ron Vara? He didn’t seem to exist except in the work of Peter Navarro.
So -- Trump's policy toward China is being partially driven by a man who says you shouldn't eat Chinese food and that only the Chinese could manufacture faulty products.
In other words, Trump's policy is being driven by a stone-cold racist. And now that we know this, I imagine we won't see Navarro visit China anytime soon.
Co-authors of Navarro's books contacted by the Chronicle Review say they did not know Ron Vara was actually Navarro himself.