GOP Needs to Leave Trump Behind on Trade

“Our trade policy is based on the foundation of free and open markets,” said the President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Thirty years later, President Donald Trump tweeted, “The word TARIFF is indeed a beautiful word.” His administration has imposed — to cheers from parts of the GOP — tariffs of up to 50% on steel, aluminum and a range of Chinese goods. After being the party of free trade for nearly four decades, some Republicans need a refresher course on the dangers of protectionism.

Republicans certainly regard the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as the pinnacle achievement of the Trump era. However, many who heralded pro-growth tax cuts for working families now favor raising taxes on these families in the form of tariffs. Numerous studies have shown that virtually all the costs of tariffs initiated under the Trump administration are borne by American consumers and businesses. To take an example, the average price of a washing machine increased by $86 within a few months after President Trump imposed tariffs on them. According to the American Action Forum, Trump’s tariffs combined have increased consumer costs by about $51 billion a year. GOP Needs to Leave Trump Behind on Trade

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