San Diego

Tariff Impositions Backed by Trump Economics Aide

President Donald Trump's director of trade and manufacturing, Peter Navarro, is solidly behind the imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

He's an economist who ran for four different public offices in San Diego years ago.

Now that Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn is departing the Trump Administration, Navarro figures to have even more influence in the White House.

Navarro got his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard and taught at UC Irvine.

He's known as a so-called "China Hawk," and has written 10 books — three of them of them with China in the title, one titled "Death by China".

Navarro finished first in San Diego's 1992 mayoral primary, losing to Susan Golding in the general election.

Two years later he lost a race for county supervisor to Ron Roberts, who’s still in that office.

In 1996, Congressman Brian Bilbray held off Navarro's challenge.

And in 2001, Navarro finished fourth in the special primary for San Diego's District 6 City Council office.

Now, the prospect of steel and aluminum tariffs is raising concerns about retaliation from other countries.

And, even higher prices for products crossing borders in an extended manufacturing process known as the "integrated supply chain".

"So at the end of the day, we'll be transferring these tariffs onto the U.S. customer, who will be buying these products,” said Kenia Zamarripa, director of international business affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Not to mention the fact that studies prove the average U.S. household saves $10,000 a year just because of these lower prices from imports."

The president has floated the idea of exempting Mexico and Canada from the tariffs. But observers say that could lead to other countries filing challenges with the World Trade Organization.

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