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The Politics of Trade Favor Trump in 2024



Donald Trump is, once again, making big promises on trade. If he is elected president in 2024, he says, he will impose new tariffs that will “end our gaping trade deficits,” “bring back millions of American jobs,” and “bring trillions and trillions of dollars pouring into the United States Treasury from foreign countries.” He says this influx of money will allow taxes on U.S. producers to come down. We just need to build on the successes of his administration.

These hopes are absurd. As a matter of policy, Trump’s record on trade is largely one of failure. But his message has been politically successful and could be again.

Trump’s projections of an influx of jobs and federal revenue don’t make sense because the more effective the tariffs are at protecting U.S. companies, the less money they would raise. You can’t tax an import that you have prevented from happening. For tariffs to raise a lot of money, imports have to stay high.

Continue reading at The Washington Post.

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