March 1 | By: Derek Scissors
The Trump administration stated its trade principles today. The bottom line is the President can still go either way, toward better policy or worse. The statement contained reasonable objectives and justified complaints, but also claims tilted to make trade look like it’s harming Americans more than it is. To decide between pro-trade and protectionist, we need to see the President’s priorities in actions.
The statement starts with several worthy points. Many Americans see recent trade decisions as harmful, in part because they were sold as strategic gains rather than economic ones. And it is reasonable to think bilaterally when global and regional approaches have not been productive.
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