Donald Trump

Trump's Awful Embrace of 'Fair Trade'

Free trade already puts America first.

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These days, I'm often accused of being a globalist. The word is a pejorative meant to insinuate that I am more concerned about international corporations than I am about my fellow American citizens.

Now, admittedly, I support nearly unlimited trade, no matter what other nations do. It's mostly because I love America. "Hey, those Chinese communists are killing us with high tariffs, so maybe we should do the same thing to our own citizens" sounds like a counterproductive idea wrapped in a false choice to me. Harming hundreds of millions of consumers to try to save a handful of unproductive jobs, no matter how good it feels, doesn't put America first.

Donald Trump, a man who campaigned on protectionist rhetoric, says he can finagle better trade agreements for the United States. Honestly, if he's using the threat of tariffs as a cudgel to attain those deals, I don't really care if Justin Trudeau's feelings are hurt.

But judging from his rhetoric, it seems the president believes protectionism is preferable to deals that lower barriers for all parties. His public position on trade—one of his only enduring political positions—is that jobs and industries can be saved by using tariffs.

Take Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who recently laid out his basic concerns in a recent New York Times piece: "First, trade must be not only free but also fair and reciprocal."

"Fair trade," once used predominately by progressives, is a neologism without meaning. It allows a person to oppose complex agreements for a litany of reasons. The word "fair" is elastic and ambiguous, which is why it's so popular with adolescents.

The billions of people in developing nations who work tedious menial labor jobs probably don't find it "fair" that Americans use the savings we gain from their work to build our unprecedented wealth. Is it fair that some countries sit atop vast amounts of fossil fuels or prime farmlands while others sit on arid or barren land?

Let's hope trade doesn't get "fair" for us any time soon.

When Navarro writes that G-7 nations' trade practices "contribute to America's more than $500 billion annual global trade deficit in goods and services," he means American citizens purchased goods they prefer from other countries. Sometimes these products are completely foreign-made, and sometimes they're partially foreign-made, but Americans always get something in return. As economist Milton Friedman argued long ago, the real gain from international trade is not what we export but what we import.

More importantly, one reason the United States is running a trade deficit is that we are wealthy and larger and can spend more on foreign-made goods and services than others can spend on U.S.-made goods and services. For example, China, which many Americans wrongly believe is an economically comparable power, boasts of a $6,894 gross domestic product per capita, compared with our $52,194.

Navarro correctly claims that cars made in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union are subject to a 2.5 percent tariff, while the EU tariff on American cars is four times as high. "No wonder," says Navarro, "Germany sells us three cars for every one we export to Germany."

Well, once we consider that Germany has a population of about 83 million and ours is more than three times that number, it makes a lot more sense. But protectionists need to exaggerate the unfairness to allow us to play victims. In any event, if our trading partners are behaving as poorly as Trump claims (and that's arguable), what would American consumers gain from paying more? Would the Germans buy more Fords?

"Second," writes Navarro, "President Trump reserves the right to defend those industries critical to our own national security."

There isn't even a good fake economic argument for steel tariffs. A vast number of industries and workers rely on steel, while few work in the steel-making industry. So the administration instead wants to impose costs on aluminum and steel imports—far higher than the average tariffs imposed on the U.S.—because it's a matter of national security.

Steel isn't technologically sensitive, nor is it uncommon. A person needs to suspend disbelief to believe that the United States wouldn't be able to quickly ramp up steel production if, for some incredibly strange reason, Canada and Brazil felt the need to undermine our national interests.

Many voters blame international trade agreements for trends that are largely a product of automation or increased production. It's a story as old as the division of labor. Politicians pretend to show their empathy for the victims of creative destruction by demanding "fairness." Instead, we end up distorting markets, killing new jobs and ignoring reality.

On top of it all, protectionism is cronyism. It's top-down control. It's the state picking winners and losers. It's a tax on the vast majority of Americans. Tariffs are all the things conservatives used to claim to be against.

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73 responses to “Trump's Awful Embrace of 'Fair Trade'

  1. So you’re not going to address that the USA is the best market in the world and we don’t anything close to free market reciprocity in other countries? Not that the USA has free trade but we are leaps and bounds better than nearly every trading partner we have.

    A Free trade goal is a two way street and the other nations will not change their protectionists ways unless the boat is rocked a bit.

    1. Did you not read this part?

      “Donald Trump, a man who campaigned on protectionist rhetoric, says he can finagle better trade agreements for the United States. Honestly, if he’s using the threat of tariffs as a cudgel to attain those deals, I don’t really care if Justin Trudeau’s feelings are hurt.

      But judging from his rhetoric, it seems the president believes protectionism is preferable to deals that lower barriers for all parties. His public position on trade?one of his only enduring political positions?is that jobs and industries can be saved by using tariffs.”

      There’s nothing in Trump’s simpleton rhetoric that suggests that he has any positive regard for trade. In his childish worldview, it’s a zero sum game that he needs to win.

      1. Except his proposal at the G-6 Summit to eliminate tariffs – which all of our “allies” immediately dismissed as absurd.

        1. And that matters because…

          … Why?

          If those idiots want to continue taxing their own people, which is what tarrifs do, why would that justify equal reciprocations against American consumers by their own government?

          “Drop your gun and let her go, or I’m going to shoot my partner here!”

          1. Rather simple really. If our trading partners have tariffs it raises the cost of our goods in their countries, effectively blocking us from selling in their countries. They protect their industries at expense of ours.

            Yes, imposing tariffs raises the cost of goods to our consumers, but it likewise advantages our industries over theirs. You know, the industries that pay people salaries with which they use to buy goods themselves.

            Low prices don’t do the consumer much good if he doesn’t have any money. Consumer prices are only one aspect of an economy. There are plenty of others.

          2. It matters because it revealed that they have no interest in free trade. It’s all managed trade, so now we negotiate the best managed trade deals possible.

            I think in some instances, mirroring other nations policies would be better since it would make it impossible for them to complain. For example, if we replicated the 25% tariff on German cars, that tariff would quickly go away on both sides.

          3. Amazing how little you care for those people unless they cross the border…

            Of course there is the rather simple and obvious argument that tariffs anywhere create deadweight losses which make everyone poorer, but that interferes with the narrative.

        2. There you go, years of protectionism talk and 5 minutes of free trade talk and it’s obvious the years of protectionism talk was all a brilliant strategy to disguise his real intent, the free trade.

    2. I don’t understand this need for fairness or reciprocity. If foreign governments want to artificially raise the price of goods for their constituents, why would we necessarily need to do the same thing to make it “fair.” Or as David puts it:

      In any event, if our trading partners are behaving as poorly as Trump claims (and that’s arguable), what would American consumers gain from paying more? Would the Germans buy more Fords?

      What’s even more amazing is all this talk about countries that subsidize certain industries (which America also does), and how that is an unfair trade practice. Why in the world would we think it is bad for consumers to accept tax subsidies from foreign citizens? Sure it distorts markets, and may make it hard for a small number of Americans to compete, but the benefit to society at large is highly positive.

      Tariffs are nothing more than rent seeking from producers in the nation that imposes the tariffs. Would you instead be in favor of taxing all the citizens and giving government subsidies directly to the steel industry? It’s really the same thing.

      1. Any time I hear a politician garner support by using the word ‘fair’ (fair wage, fair share, fair trade, fair deal), I know that I’m going to end up with less discretionary income to spend how I see fit.

        I would disagree with your statement, though, that subsidies from foreign citizens benefit society at large. I do agree that additional subsidies or tariffs as a response are not productive and only add to inefficiencies in society. I understand why people want to “fight fire with fire”, but I feel we’d be using that tactic in a straw house.

      2. — why would we necessarily need to do the same thing to make it “fair.” —

        Because the workers love their Fuehrer, and their Fuehrer loves them.

        He doesn’t love you, though.

        1. And neither do you, unless they want to cross the border.

          1. Shame on you for pissing on Old Beaners open borders crap. You simply don’t respect your betters.

    3. According to a report by Credit Suisse, the US is the most protectionist of the developed countries. Protectionism doesn’t just include tariffs but other, non-tariff barriers to trade such as quota, domestic content laws, export subsidies, etc. http://www.businessinsider.com…..ion-2015-9

      1. Good Lord, Business insider claims $15 dollar minimum wage will not raise the Cost of Living…

        People that use Yahoo as a news source have a serious lack of cognitive skills.

  2. Secondly, low tariffs to pay for a tiny US government is the system Founders used. Tariffs, per se are not the end of the world. Tariffs on top of import duties, on top of taxes, on top of regulation costs, on top of other costs are the wrong long term strategy.

    1. If you are arguing for a return to a Founders-era system where we we finance the federal government solely through tariffs (no income or SS taxes, etc), that might be worthy of consideration.

      But thats not on the table. Not even close. The tariffs (taxes) are proposed ON TOP OF everything else we pay.

      The “the Founders liked tariffs” argument is completely lame because that was a package deal. It only makes sense if a lot of other changes are made….changes that have no hope of happening in our lifetime. I’ve seen people make this argument over and over, and it simply doesn’t hold water.

      On top of that, it wasn’t like it was smooth sailing for tariffs back in the day either. The “Tariff of Abominations” of 1828 pitted North and South against each other. I admit I just found it on Wikipedia, but its apparent this have been a divisive issue for a while. For good reason.

      1. L1789 if not apparent, I am generally agreeing with you. Just realized my post may not sound like it.

  3. I very recently used to believe this, but I think I have slowly become more Keynesian as of late. Abrupt economic swings caused by deep globalization I am not sure is healthy in the long run for democracies. People plainly do not adjust well to losing their jobs and tend to become populists. Plus it is hard to argue with the results achieved under the Keynesian Bretton Woods system (which may be impossible to achieve ever again too, could have been luck). Tame the animal spirits!

    In my opinion if we are to continue our free trade, globalization thing then the people left behind by changing economic circumstances need to be propped up, receive some job training, funded by those not left behind. If you ignore these people all they will end up doing is looting you through their votes eventually in a much more painful way than if some mechanism to transport them from rural, left behind West Virginia to productive Charlotte, N.C. with resources provided to teach them some useful trade like nursing. We can flat out ignore these people and tell them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but do not be surprised if they eventually come with pitchforks to demand your land if ignored for so long.

    1. Re: JoeBlow123

      — but I think I have slowly become more Keynesian as of late. —

      You should be worried. Seek help.

      — the people left behind by changing economic circumstances need to be propped up, receive some job training, funded by those not left behind. —

      Yes, because we all know those peasants are *wink, wink* too stupid to consider changing jobs by themselves. They need help. Government help. Become children of the State.

      1. because we all know those peasants are *wink, wink* too stupid to consider changing jobs by themselves

        Anyone can learn anything. Low skill workers are only low skill because they haven’t been given a high skill job. Only the government is capable of offering training programs for out of work individuals.

        So saith Retardo Montalban.

        1. Looks like the “wink wink” was too subtle for you.

        2. Anyone can learn anything.

          So ridiculously untrue it hardly bears refuting. IQ differences are real. Not every guy who can push a broom can become a brain surgeon.

          1. Ah, I see I ran afoul of sarcasm again.

      2. “Yes, because we all know those peasants are *wink, wink* too stupid to consider changing jobs by themselves. They need help. Government help. Become children of the State.”

        Yea, sure. Relative labor immobility and regional economic depressions are myths created by “the Man” to keep the peasants on the gubmint plantation.

    2. There is nowhere in the world where it is easy to employ someone, and that has been the case for at least 25 years.

      Once you add in a corporate mandate to track social security, taxable and non-taxable benefits, and all the other stuff that has been piled on corporations, the ability to buy and try an employee becomes non-existent.

      I worked at an intensely blue collar corporation in the 70s and 80s, and if you walked into the front office and said you’d like a job, the odds were really good that if we were busy (and unlike now, we usually were), you’d be given a pair of gloves and be handed off to someone who would get you working. If you weren’t of value to the team, you were paid for the time you worked and let go.

      Up until about 10 years ago, our best employees were hired in that fashion and they moved slowly (or quickly) up the ranks to where they best fit.

      If you want to avoid people being out of work, make the cost of hiring and firing as close to zero as possible.

      1. Unfortunately I think it’s become institutionalized at all large and most mod-sized corps. Check the boxes and pass taleo or the hiring manager never even sees your name.

  4. The mechanism(s) to transport people from can’t-keep-up communities to successful communities — from shambling lives and situations to better — should include education, skill, and effort. Also, self-respect and self-help. Also, good judgment. Also, a free market. Also, reason and progress and modernity.

    Whatever happened to accountability, self-esteem, self-improvement, and the like?

    People should be free to choose poorly — to choose backwardness, and lousy education, and superstition, and bigotry, and insularity. Those decisions will and should have consequences, however, and should be discouraged, particularly with respect to young people.

    This shouldn’t be a difficult concept at a libertarian website.

    1. And “Don’t feed the trolls” shouldn’t be a difficult concept at any website.

    2. “The mechanism(s) to transport people from can’t-keep-up communities to successful communities — from shambling lives and situations to better — should include education, skill, and effort. Also, self-respect and self-help. Also, good judgment. Also, a free market. Also, reason and progress and modernity.”

      All of these things involve using government force. You can either have freedom or the promise and failed implementation by the government of all of those things. We’ve tried your way, over and over again.

      So to surmise, fuck off you commie piece of shit. Take your appeals to emotion and elitist bullshit and shove them up your authoritarian ass.

      1. Self-respect and good judgment require government force?

        Right…

        1. Those things are ‘eye of the beholder.’ So, who gets to choose the thresholds? Who gets to enforce the thresholds? Who gets to enforce the enforcers of the thresholds? Who’s going to pay for the enforcers, their enforcers, the bureaucrats, the facilities and the feel good programs for our new department of “Self-respect and good judgment?”

          Meanwhile, where is the freedom in all of that? People fall for this crap?

          1. You sound like a disaffected, unsophisticated, embittered, left-behind, right-wing dope, Cy.

            Fortunately for your betters, and society in general, guys like you are ineffective.

            1. Fortunately for me, I’m well armed, very well off and well educated. Your kind are nothing new.

              So to surmise, fuck off you commie piece of shit. Take your appeals to emotion and elitist bullshit and shove them up your authoritarian ass.

                1. +infinity for Cy
                  The insecure Rev Kirkland can just fuck right off and die

              1. I will stick with reason, education, progress, tolerance, science, and inclusivity.

                You stick with backwardness, bigotry, dogma, superstition, and ignorance.

                I will stick with modern, successful, tolerant, education, accomplished communities.

                You stick with Lesser Jesusland and Southern Yahooville.

                I will continue to prefer the progress that has made America great, accomplished despite the efforts and wishes of guys like you.

                You will continue to mutter bitterly about all of this damned progress and science and education and tolerance, fondling your gun and telling the guys at your militia meeting about how you’re going to do something about it one of these days.

                Carry on, clinger.

  5. But judging from his rhetoric…..

    See, there’s your first mistake right there. Judging from his rhetoric, Trump’s a brain-damaged moron on peyote who’s just suffered a stroke. The guy can’t express a coherent thought in a complete sentence and any sense of what he might be trying to say will be directly contradicted by something he says 5 minutes later. You can glean any meaning you want out of what he says, even that he’s a brilliant strategist who’s saying one thing just to distract his opponent’s attention from the fact that he’s doing another.

    1. “You can glean any meaning you want out of what he says, even that he’s a brilliant strategist who’s saying one thing just to distract his opponent’s attention from the fact that he’s doing another.”

      Call the strategy what ever you want, it won him the Presidency of the United States of America, the highest office in, arguably, the most powerful country in human history.

      1. And Obama won that office twice, because right-wingers are so lame their betters beat their war hero with a black guy, then beat their Richie Rich with a black guy. The only reason Obama didn’t win again was that he wasn’t eligible to run again.

        So Obama is twice as accomplished as Donald Trump, plus has better hair, normal fingers, and no need to game the obesity tables.

        1. Just where do you buy your hillary plushies these days? And do they randomly fall down on their own?

      2. I remember some years back when I was drunk enough and pissed off enough to throw a beer bottle at the TV (fortunately being drunk enough and pissed off enough that I missed the TV by about 3 feet from 6 feet away) when watching one of Brett Favre’s performance pieces. You’d see Brett making a wild-ass desperation heave and if the receiver managed to catch it the announcers would pee their pants exclaiming how great and brilliant Brett was. If the ball fluttered out there begging to be picked off, the announcers would tut-tut about what a poor decision that was and how Brett never should have thrown that ball. Look, the greatness of a play doesn’t depend on whether or not the receiver catches the ball, even the ones that worked out ok were plays where Brett never should have thrown the ball. Just because a play works doesn’t mean it’s a great play, it could be you just got lucky.

  6. — There isn’t even a good fake economic argument for steel tariffs. —

    It’s funny that the president’s fake economists cannot come up with a good fake economic argument for those tariffs.

    — So the administration instead wants to impose costs on aluminum and steel imports?far higher than the average tariffs imposed on the U.S.?because it’s a matter of national security. —

    Those slingshots need good american steel!

    Only Trumpistas believe this rubbish. They’re worse than those Obama-bots which sound reasonable compared to these Fascists who came out of the woodwork.

    1. “They’re worse than those Obama-bots which sound reasonable compared to these Fascists who came out of the woodwork.”

      Yeah, because The ACA is a steaming pile of win, right?

      1. — Yeah, because The ACA is a steaming pile of win, right? —

        The ACA is or was intended as a protectionist scheme favoring insurance companies. It is a terrible idea. What are tariffs on most imported goods, but an even WORSE idea? Because the ACA raises the cost of heslth care, but tariffs raise the cost of EVERYTHING.

        Care to try again?

        1. Are you really trying to argue that the proposed tariffs are going to do more harm than already enacted ACA?

          I know you’re trolling, but that’s pretty out there.

          1. — Are you really trying to argue that the proposed tariffs are going to do more harm than already enacted ACA?—

            I’m not trying to argue. I am arguing, successfully. The ACA does not have the same effect as the proposed tariffs because tariffs hit manufacturing costs directly and thus consumer prices overall. The ACA affects he cost of health care and the cost of employment, but right now employment is at an all time high.

            Learn economics for a gawd-damned change.

            1. How many Americans will have the IRS audit them for the proposed tariffs?

              How many American’s will lose a substantial amount of their disposable wealth to forced insurance premiums or tax penalties from the proposed tariffs?

              How many Americans will be forced to use a private companies services because of the proposed tariffs?

              How many violations of the US Constitution come with the proposed tariffs?

              The ACA’s rights violations crush the proposed tarriff”s rights violations (are there any?). The ACA costs the average American a hell of a lot more than the proposed tarriffs.

              The hilarious part of all of this, these are just negotiation tactics. The ACA is ENACTED. You’re trying to equivocate the ACA with a proposed action. Could you imagine if we took some of the proposed health items that weren’t implemented into the ACA and compared them?

              The ACA is far more of a tragedy than any of the proposed tariffs.

            2. Wait, so your argument is that employment is up (but hardly at an all time high) therefore obamacare, which has doubled the cost of insurance in 4 years, is OK? Wait, that’s not it, health care isn’t a consumer good so, like, it’s different.

              Please tell me you wrote that under physician care.

              Steel and aluminum tariffs are in effect now and “employment is at an all time high” so that also proves the tariffs are no big deal. Yes, that is the quality of your argument.

    2. Oh, no, the “fair trade” disease is far more widespread than merely the ranks of Trump supporters. A far-too-large percentage of Republicans and virtually all Democrats buy into this nonsense as well.
      “Buy this magazine or we’ll shoot this dog” is a threat. “Buy from us or we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot” is a bad joke, even when wrapped in the flag.

  7. — Tariffs are all the things conservatives used to claim to be against. —

    David, Trumpistas are not ‘consevatives’. How easily they were swooned by a sweet-talking charlatan offering economic abundance while espousing fake economic ideas and horrible immigration policies is evidence that they are Fascists and not the limited government and pro-liberty types that one would associate with conservatism. They’re like the Bernie-bots except not as young, much meaner and more paranoid.

    1. Seems to me the last time I heard a campaign message like Trump’s, it was from Walter Mondale in 1984.

      plus ?a change, plus c’est la m?me chose

      The other thing I remember, because I am old enough to remember such things, is that when the Donald first started promoting himself in the late 1970s, he did so as a Liberal Democratic. His 2016 campaign was full of deja vu back t the 70s.

    2. “David, Trumpistas are not ‘consevatives’. How easily they were swooned by a sweet-talking charlatan offering economic abundance while espousing fake economic ideas and horrible immigration policies is evidence that they are Fascists and not the limited government and pro-liberty types that one would associate with conservatism.”

      Trump supporters are indeed conservatives. Conservatism’s flirtation with free trade and laissez-faire economics is pretty recent; up until the mid 1950s you still had plenty of conservatives arguing for the tariff and closed-borders immigration. Trump is basically reviving the old isolationist wing of the GOP, which has always been dormant and is now on the upswing due to economic/cultural backlash from immigration and free trade.

      1. No, what Trump is reviving is the protectionist rhetoric of “old labor”. The fact that this aligns with anything te GOP has ever advocated harkens back to the days when the Republicans were the original Progressives (ie, pre Woodrow Wilson).

        1. —No, what Trump is reviving is the protectionist rhetoric of “old labor”—

          You don’t have to be a union member to support protectionism. Plenty of Northern industrialists during the Gilded Age supported the tariff as a way to restrict competition from cheaper British imports. Up until the 1950s-60s, it was the Democratic Party that supported free trade and the GOP that leaned towards protectionist tariffs.

  8. Depends on whether you think the “purpose” of industry is to produce stuff or jobs.

    1. Or maybe, with “fair trade”, it sometimes produces both.

      1. OTOH, maybe it produces neither.

        Which is probably why the establishment of neither party now uses that kind of rhetoric.

      2. Why can’t I find “fair trade” in an economics book?

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  10. Yes, trade barriers are bad, and Trump should not raise them. In related news, the environmentalists near me want to stop trains from traveling through my county to the Port of New York, and they hate the idea of a New Jersey power plant selling electricity to customers in New York City.

    1. Whataboutism can get so specific sometimes.

  11. This is so sad. This entire article is based on this–

    Take Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who recently laid out his basic concerns in a recent New York Times piece: “First, trade must be not only free but also fair and reciprocal.”

    And then twisting that to suggest that Navarro didn’t mean that trade should be free, fair and reciprocal as he stated, but that we should adopt the leftist perversion of the term ‘fair’, pretend that it was attached to the word ‘trade’, and then act as if Trump had advocated for leftist fair trade practices.

    Which didn’t actually happen.

    Trump is using tariffs and the threat of tariffs as weapons to attempt to force open markets currently protected by foreign governments (with tariffs, among other things). I would say that this is blatantly obvious–but, judging by the sheer volume of stupidity I’m seeing from economists and policy wonks as well as commentators, I no choice but to think that there are people who simply can not see this.

    Trade is fair when you have free and open access to my markets and I have free and open access to yours. See what ‘fair trade’ really means?

    1. The United States has implemented at least as many protectionist measures as any other nation.

      If your ignorance derives from homeschooling involving a dopey mother, I do not blame you for your silly assertions.

      1. I find it amusing that the handlers that gave you your talking points don’t know the difference between libertarians and socons.

        Are you trolling us, or are they trolling you?

        1. If you are referring to the usual gathering of Self-Described Libertarians For Protectionism and Bigoted Immigration Restrictions, your point about libertarians is irrelevant to this discussion.

          Get an education, goober.

      2. Actually, the US has more protectionist measures than any of our trading partners: http://www.businessinsider.com…..ion-2015-9

    2. So, Trump is using the rest of us as a bargaining chip to get a better deal in foreign markets? Why wasn’t I consulted on this?

  12. Canada a threat to American national security. Cute.

    We’re always being mocked for being a military protectorate of the U.S. but somehow we’re a threat because of our steel? Our singers maybe but resources?

    The problem I have with Trump on this is he’s given Trudeau a lifeline by giving a boost to his dismal popularity. Thanks Trump, you just gave Justin a chance to get re-elected. Yes, Canadians are that one-dimensional.

    Fuck Justin.

  13. A person needs to suspend disbelief to believe that the United States wouldn’t be able to quickly ramp up steel production if, for some incredibly strange reason, Canada and Brazil felt the need to undermine our national interests.

    Oh, I dunno. I could see us, in the middle of a war, with the EPA shutting down steel plants and blocking the construction of others because they are bad for the environment.

  14. “Unprecedented wealth ” in coastal America with a hollowed out heartland. It just amazes me how nearly 2 years after the election an author can use aggregate economic data like this with a straight face.

    It will take time for Trump to crack open these markets. But it will happen. Germany and Japan depend on us to buy their products- they would suffer greatly without our business. China too. America remains a great place to sell stuff. We can expect some protest but in time they’ll have no choice. Then we’ ll actually have free or freer trade.

  15. David, you’re completely right about protectionism. But you dismiss strategic concerns in a flippant manner.

    Our ability to win WWII hindged largely on our ability to divert heavy industry to military usages. Having such industry is a strategic concern. It’s not Trump’s motivation and on his terms (protectionism) free trade wins the argument. National security concerns shouldn’t be dismissed just because we have an idiot in the White House.

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