Donald Trump promised that America would start “winning big on trade.” Trump vowed to keep “special interests” from rigging U.S. trade, pledged trade decisions would “benefit American workers and families,” and promised to confront trade violations by China.
For the former Apprentice host, winning means that Trump picks the winners, tilting the scales for his favored trade interests. He’s imposed tariffs on washers and dryers, steel and aluminum and is pursuing 25-percent “national security” duties on imported cars.
Trump’s new taxes on $200 billion in imports from China, which led to the inevitable retaliatory tariffs of $60 billion on U.S. exports, are the latest in a series of impulsive choices that have turned a vital investigation of China’s technology theft into an out-of-control tariff war.
Trump’s trade edicts have helped some companies and workers. But many more Americans — and America as a whole — are losing under Trump’s trade policies.