The Pros And Cons Of Donald Trump's Trade Protectionism

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Trade protectionism, the implementation of tariffs and quotas to restrict imports, is an economic strategy that has been present in U.S. history as far back as the civil war era when it was supported by the republican party (Palen, Marc-William 6). The general purpose is to limit foreign imports and decrease reliance on foreign industries. One hundred and fifty years later, the same methods are existent in U.S. politics. Since Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, he has pledged to decrease the U.S. trade deficit and improve the benefits that the U.S. receives from trade relationships relative to other countries. Trump’s decisions to implement unilateral trade barriers on certain goods, leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to implement tariffs on Mexican imports to the U.S. all exhibit a strategy of protectionism. Basically, he believes that the U.S. is disadvantaged by trade agreements due to the large trade deficits that the U.S. has with countries such as China, Mexico and Canada. Due to these perceived disadvantages, he is pursuing actions that will reduce these deficits and put the U.S. on the upper end, as he views trade as a zero-sum game in which the U.S. must be “winning”. Looking at this from a systemic level of analysis, Trump’s decisions are influenced by the relative distribution of power in the international system, relating to the balance of trade relationships that the U.S. has with

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