Critics were quick to suggest Donald Trump was living in a dream world when he suggested the trade deficit is a U.S. foreign policy problem. The Establishment insists globalization: Lowering economic levels to the lowest common denominator, elimination of borders, environmental “justice” that moves the First World backwards, etc. will bring peace. They have no evidence, but that is they’re belief.
When Trump used the term “America first” to describe his foreign policy, critics insisted he was moving to back to American isolationism of the 1930’s. These same critics would have been better served considering Pat Buchanan’s vision of an America first policy when he ran for president later in the 20th Century.
“For the foreign policy routinely disparaged as ‘isolationism’ is always on the table. It is the foreign policy most deeply rooted in America’s history, heart and vital interests. … It is our oldest tradition,” Buchanan wrote.
“Though that tradition may be dismissed by our foreign policy elites as antiquated, selfish and un-idealistic, it is the elites who are out of touch. They do not know the country they live in. They do not know the American people. They never have.”
Soon, very soon, the Establishment must realize what U.S. workers and multinational corporations have learned about so-called free trade: It handicaps Americans.
Academics have found “there is now abundant evidence linking international trade to the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs.” The 47-page paper suggests a “polarization effect,” where negative economic shock increases the election of both non-centrist left-wing and right-wing members of Congress.
“Voters are thus seeking answers to a common source of economic decline from very different types of political actors,” the paper says. One result is “China bashing” from Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders on the left.
Emerging nations have reportedly attacked foreign multinationals with fines, investigations, raids and closure. In addition, the expected fast-growth revenue channels and inexpensive manufacturing opportunities from overseas globalization failed to materialize. This hurts U.S. investors and well as laborers. It only seems right that politicians who support “free trade” be held accountable.
If “… ending the theft of American jobs will give us resources we need to rebuild our military, which has to happen and regain our financial independence and strength,” sounds out-of-touch with pundits, think tanks and the rest of the Establishment, they should get to know the American people.
In 2015, the United States had $365.7 million trade deficit with China. The difference was$57 million through February of 2016.
“China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect,” Trump said. “We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now.”
A fair trade policy, where trade partners are treated equally, might sale to American voters in 2016. It looks like Trump will find out.