White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has led the United States effort to secure supply chains in response to the Chinese coronavirus crisis, is hitting back at his critics entrenched in Washington, D.C. and corporate boardrooms.
In a piece by the Washington Post, a newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, an anonymous group of 28 former and current White House officials, big business executives, and congressional staffers make personal jabs at Navarro and slam his approach in trying to reshore vital manufacturing industries back to the U.S.
One business executive complained that Navarro, a longtime hawk on U.S. free trade with China, had taken the reigns of President Trump’s “Buy American,” telling the Post that the trade adviser was “calling and ordering people to do things.”
“My office tip [is the] of [Trump] spear stopping e-commerce counterfeit traffickers like Amazon from defrauding/killing Americans,” Navarro wrote in a post. “No surprise Amazon Post now smearing me with poison fake news hit piece. [Journalists] Lynch/Stein wasting econ talents wallowing in Bezos mud. LOL.”
My office tip of @potus SPEAR stopping e-commerce counterfeit traffickers like Amazon from defrauding/killing Americans. No surprise Amazon Post now SMEARING me with poison FAKE NEWS hit piece. Lynch/Stein wasting econ talents wallowing in Bezos mud. LOLhttps://t.co/g0xBVqtaeZ
— Peter Navarro (@PeterNavarro45) September 2, 2020
Most of the attacks aired by the Post surround Navarro’s deals with Philips to produce 43,000 ventilators in the U.S. to add to the nation’s stockpile and Kodak to manufacture drug ingredients in Rochester, New York.
Navarro cut the deal with Philips for ventilator production after months of unfounded attacks from D.C. insiders and Democrats that the U.S. was running out of ventilators. To date, no patient who has needed a ventilator has been denied one.
Now, House Democrats are probing the Philips deal, claiming the administration overpaid for the ventilators set to be produced. To date, Philips has helped add 12,300 ventilators to the national stockpile.
“Everyone said there are no ventilators. Then when Navarro gets ventilators, they say he paid more than Obama who had no COVID-19 to deal with — Obama who did not stockpile ventilators or anything else,” an industry insider told Breitbart News.
Likewise, with Kodak, House Democrats are probing claims of suspicious stock transactions by company executives. Navarro has said that “what happened at Kodak was probably the dumbest decisions made by executives in corporate history. You can’t fix stupid, you can’t even anticipate to that degree of stupidity.”
Trade expert Alan Tonelson, who runs the blog RealityChek, told Breitbart News the attacks on Navarro are coming from “the usual China squishes, especially those mistakenly appointed by Trump who have since left the administration” and have decided to unleash their fury via “a fishing expedition” by Democrats into Navarro’s deals to reshore manufacturing.
“Ironically, many Trump critics have criticized the administration for being too hesitant to use the Defense Production Act,” Tonelson said. “Now the same folks who presumably wanted contracts sent out the door even faster are complaining about sloppiness.”
In contrast to how big business executives and D.C. insiders view Navarro, the industry insider told Breitbart News that to small and medium-sized American manufacturers — those who have been crippled by U.S. free trade with China over the last two decades — see the trade adviser as “their hero” against “Davos globalists.”
“The swamp is fighting back using the official mouthpiece of the swamp — the Washington Post,” they said.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.