Monday, July 4, 2016

Donald Trump’s Tariff Party

His trade agenda would hurt American workers and companies.
Donald Trump offered some promising thoughts on taxes, regulation and energy in a speech on Tuesday—too bad they were made in passing, near the end, almost as an afterthought. Most of what his campaign billed as his signature economic message was the most detailed assault on trade by a presidential candidate since—well, we can’t remember. Mr. Trump wants to make Republicans into the Tariff Party.
“Our original Constitution did not even have an income tax. Instead, it had tariffs—emphasizing taxation of foreign, not domestic, production. Yet today, 240 years after the Revolution, we have turned things completely upside-down,” Mr. Trump said in remarks outside Pittsburgh.
He added that if China, Mexico, Canada and others don’t bend to his demands and rewrite our trade agreements, he will “use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.” So much for the idea that Mr. Trump would modify his antitrade views for the general election.
Instead he’s escalating, as he bids for Bernie Sanders voters and electoral votes in the industrial Midwest. Perhaps he figures swing states with large Hispanic populations like Florida and Colorado are already lost. So he’s doubling down on a strategy to win white working-class voters who have been told for years by Democrats that trade is to blame for their declining economic fortunes. We’ll find out soon enough if this works politically, but as economics it’s nonsense.
Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE and watch a related video below:

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