Centrist Donald?

GoodwinDonald Trump has an interesting position on free trade. He is against the TPP, really down on NAFTA, and accuses China of currency manipulation.

For a man touted as the Fox News poster boy, being antitrade is pretty far left. Think unions, Senator Schumer, and this leftist cartoon.

The right is blindly pro-trade, assuming that what’s good for business is always good for America. Jeremiah has discussed this conflation, here. The last business candidate to stand up against free trade was Ross Perot.

On the other hand, you can’t hope to build a wall around your national market. That’s a tactic, not a strategy – although China has done pretty well with it. The balance between trade and protectionism boils down to negotiation.

Trump’s native mode of expression is bombast, so it’s hard to tell, but this is actually a nuanced position. Consider the current debate in Congress. The Democrats are blocking President Obama, for the usual antitrade reasons, and the Republicans are afraid of a “bad deal.”

It is doubtful the race will turn on trade policy, but The Donald gets points for the first non-stereotyped idea of the season. Maybe he can get an endorsement from Michael Moore.

See also: Jeremiah on Protectionism

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