Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify
A top White House adviser is pressing lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee to bring Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify before Congress, a request that could shake up the political dynamics around the investigation into the country’s largest tech companies.
At a private meeting this week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told the Republicans and Democrats leading the House’s antitrust investigation into Big Tech that they should invite Bezos and other e-commerce executives to testify about counterfeits, sources confirmed to The Hill.
Navarro has been leading the Trump administration’s efforts to curb the spread of fake and pirated products online — particularly on Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer.
His request marks the first time a White House official has weighed in publicly on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee’s tech probe.
“What I said clearly was that, given the extreme seriousness of this issue and the failure of the e-commerce hubs to cooperate in any substantive way on any of this, it’s prudent to have the CEOs of the major e-commerce platforms come and talk truthfully to the American people about this on Capitol Hill,” Navarro told The Hill.
“This committee appears to be doing a very substantive investigation of how market power is affecting the American people,” Navarro added. “My point was simply that e-commerce platforms, absent market power, are doing great damage. When you add the market power of the Amazons and eBays of this world to the mix, it’s counterfeiting danger on steroids.”
The move is the latest salvo in a public feud between Navarro and Bezos. Last week, Navarro accused Bezos of walking back an invitation to meet with him about counterfeits. Trump has long maintained a personal vendetta against Bezos.
Navarro’s request comes at a sensitive moment for the bipartisan House investigation, which has focused on whether the largest tech firms — Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple — are using their vast market power to suppress competition, ultimately harming consumers.