Donald Trump and the End of Free Trade

The 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act was a policy disaster never to be repeated, says Dan Griswold of the Mercatus Center. Until now.


"Canada, Mexico, and China are the top three customers for U.S. exports," says Dan Griswold, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. So what are the top three countries President-elect Donald Trump wants to pick a trade fight with? "Canada, Mexico, and China."

Griswold, who's also the co-director of Mercatus' Program on the American Economy and Globalization, says he's "cautiously pessimistic" about what Trump will mean for U.S. trade policy. In a new Reason podcast with Nick Gillespie, he dispels some of the classic myths about free trade, such as that it's a major job killer (technological progress is the real culprit), and that trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and TPP establish systems of "managed trade" and thus should be opposed by "real" libertarians.

"These trade agreements have left us freer," he says, "and I think libertarians should support that."

For more, read Griswold's recent piece, "What the Trump Win Means for U.S. Trade Policy," on his blog, Mad About Trade.

Click below to listen to that conversation—or subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

Don't miss a single Reason podcast or video! Subscribe, rate, and review!

Follow us at Soundcloud.

Subscribe to our video channel at iTunes.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.