Questions on Trump’s controversial trade policies


After decades of promoting free trade, the United States government has become a leading voice for protectionism. In seeking to overhaul existing agreements with trade partners, President Donald J. Trump has pointed to trade deficits as an example of how other countries, including traditional U.S. allies, have systematically taken advantage of the United States. He wants to use the buying power of Americans to renegotiate better deals.

WikiTribune will be interviewing economists, business leaders and activists as part of its reporting on the Trump administration’s evolving trade agenda. Add the names of experts you’d like to see interviewed. Or add questions related to trade you’d like to see answered. 

Experts

  1. Robert McCleery, Middlebury College, Professor of Economics (confirmed)
  2. Debra P. Steger, University of Ottawa, Professor of Business and Law
  3. Mujtaba Rahman, Managing Director for Eurasia Group in London
  4. Mark Abrams, Partner & Head of Trade, Trade Finance Global (TFG)

Questions

  1. How should the U.S. government negotiate better trade deals in ways that offer businesses stability while also allowing for future electoral input?
  2. How have new trade policies enacted by the Trump administration affected businesses where you live?
  3. Does the U.S. government have a plan or intention to weaken China, or any other country, through trade war, so that the United States can maintain its position as the world’s largest economy?
  4. What are the benefits of free trade vs. protected trade?
  5. Add your question.

Background

The Trump administration has implemented tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods in order to support domestic industry, and force other countries to address what he sees as unfair trade imbalances. He’s gone further by advocating that the United State rewrite global trade deals, including the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or walk away from them entirely. 

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada.Both being very difficult,may have to terminate?

Calls to renegotiate trade deals, which are connected to the use of tariffs, have created an atmosphere of gloom among some economists and multinational corporations, which argue protectionism ultimately hurts every party involved (Bloomberg).

Yet Trump’s challenge of economic norms has found supporters, including members of the political left who see trade pacts as inherently undemocratic, harmful to labor unions and the environment (Guardian, Economic Policy Institute). 

International trade agreements are traditionally contentious issues for U.S. presidents. Critics blasted President Barack Obama’s so-called “fast-track trade negotiations” for lacking transparency. Trump’s renegotiations have been criticized for, among other things, disrupting industry.

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