American firms cheering for protectionism in the form of tariffs on their foreign competitors should be careful what they wish for, writes Veronique de Rugy. As they say, "What goes around comes around." Case in point: The American washer and dryer manufacturer Whirlpool Corp, which cheered the Trump administration for imposing a penalty on Americans who buy foreign-made washers.
Here's the thing: When you cheer for protectionism, you never know when you might become the victim of the next round of consumer-punishing tariffs. That's what happened to Whirlpool, de Rugy notes, which is now a victim of the 25 percent steel tariffs imposed by the administration to protect the steel industry from foreign competition.