Donald Trump IS a protectionist

Martin Wolf, in another great FT column, explains that there is no justification (even on protectionist grounds) for the 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum, and they will likely spur further protectionist tariffs, since industries using steel and aluminum as inputs will face rising costs. The solution? More tariffs!

The International Monetary Fund is right to criticise this plan. It will impose substantial costs, disrupt alliances and surely lead to yet more costly protectionism, by the US and others. It is a product of a characteristic blend of self-pity — the world is mean to us — and bombast — we can easily bully others into submission. The result is likely to be further shredding of the fragile fabric of global trade.

Well done, Mr Trump.

Martin Wolf, “Donald Trump’s trade follies presage more protectionism“, Financial Times, 7 February 2018 (gated paywall).


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