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  March 16th, 2017 | Written by

WATCH – Trump: US “Must Protect Itself From the Outside”

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  • Trump embraces nineteenth century economic model.
  • Trump wants a regime of tariffs to protect US industries and jobs.
  • Protectionist trade policies jeopardize 40 million US jobs that depend on trade.

Speaking at the American Center for Mobility in Detroit yesterday, President Donald Trump reiterated his protectionist economic philosophy. After his usual bashing of NAFTA, China, and the World Trade Organization, the president went on embrace a regime of tariffs to protect US industries and jobs.

“Our great presidents, from Washington to Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln, all understood that a great nation must protect its manufacturing, must protect itself from the outside,” Trump said.

The president added that he is walking the same path as the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. He quoted Jackson as saying, “I look at the tariff with an eye to the proper distribution of labor, and to revenue, and with a view to discharge our national debt.”

Continuing with his own views, Trump said, “We must embrace a new economic model.  Let’s call it The American Model.”

“Under this system, we will reduce burdens on our companies and on our businesses,” the president added. “But, in exchange, companies must hire and grow in America.  They have to hire and grow in our country. That is how we will succeed and grow together–American workers and American industry side-by-side.”

Left unmentioned, of course, were the US businesses and workers who would lose as a result of protectionist trade policies. First and foremost among these are US exporters. Protectionist tariffs designed to keep out imports will be met by similar measures by US trading partners. Twenty-five percent of US manufacturing jobs are supported by exports.

The US auto industry is tightly integrated with supply-chain partners in Canada and Mexico thanks to NAFTA, a fact that makes North American car manufacturing more competitive. Trump’s disparaging of NAFTA puts the industry at risk.

Protectionist trade policies will lead to a decline in total trade volumes. Forty-million US jobs depend on trade. Trump jeopardizes these as well if he is able to put his policies in place.