USA Today | Roth: Donald Trump’s protectionist trade inclinations hurt Wisconsin

Collin Roth writes in the USA Today on the effect of President Trump’s stated trade position on Wisconsin.

Like it or not, President Donald Trump has charged ahead with a clear goal of fulfilling many of his campaign promises. With the recent setback on health care, Trump can be expected to turn his attention towards an issue that helped put him in the White House: trade. Unfortunately, these protectionist policies will only lead to higher taxes and prices for basic goods, hurting the average American worker.

Trade is no doubt a focus of the administration. During his first week in office, Trump canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. He’s advocated for tariffs and called out Mexico and China for unfair trade practices. A Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), a tax on imports, is expected to be part of a tax reform overhaul this summer.

And in a joint address to Congress, Trump crystallized his pledge to protect American industry. “I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. They have taken advantage of our country. No longer,” he said. The response from Republicans in the gallery was largely applause.

Perhaps one of the most consequential, long-term legacies of the 2016 election may be the erosion of a consensus on free trade. Large blocs of voters in both parties, particularly in key Midwest states, elevated their angst and dismay with free trade into a driving political force.

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