RSIS: Trump’s Protectionism

The Trump administration adopts a protectionist stance, contending that the United States is not treated fairly in trade agreements. Protectionism is harmful for economies, and critics are many, inside the United States and beyond, for the US tariffs on aluminum, steel, solar panels and more. Yet politicians often rely on protectionist messages that appeal to the working class, increasing voter turnouts during close elections. Linda Lim of the University of Michigan explains that electoral districts impacted by Chinese import competition, a small minority of constituencies nationwide, voted heavily for Trump. Protectionists target the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement even though evidence shows the United States is a beneficiary of such policies. Meanwhile financiers can invest and profit from the disruptive policies. Lim concludes that Trump’s policies target China, widen the deficit and strive to win over voters in competitive Midwest districts with a nationalistic message. – YaleGlobal

RSIS: Trump’s Protectionism

US protectionism disrupts the international trading system, and current policies aim to target China and win over voters in competitive districts with nationalism
Linda Lim
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Read the commentary on tariffs from RSIS, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Relations.

Linda Lim is NTUC Professor of International Economic Relations 2018 at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Relations (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is also Professor Emerita of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.


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