The Spectator 22 September 2018 9:00 AM 22 September 2018 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp Donald Trump campaigned as an unrepentant protectionist and, on the face of it, he has lived up to his word. He has torn up the US-Pacific free- trade partnership, threatened the European Union with trade wars and imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imports from China. As you might expect, Beijing’s retaliation has been immediate — as has the damage. American cherry growers, for example, estimate that they have lost about $85 million after suffering retaliatory surcharges. Farmers are now having to be bailed out by the US government. Yet this week Trump has doubled down, introducing tariffs on another 6,000 Chinese imports. When China responds in kind, he says, America will move on to phase three. Every time that trade wars are attempted, the results are the same. Protectionism might prop up industries which are uncompetitive in global markets, but any benefit is outweighed by costs imposed on, and jobs lost from, other industries. A businessman like Trump ought to know that — perhaps he doesn’t care because China-bashing is popular. Or might there be method in the madness?… Read full this story
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