Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” In a recent article, Professor of Government Giulio Gallarotti debunks the myth that Trump’s protectionist tendencies fly in the face of America’s tradition of free trade. Gallarotti is also co-chair of the College of Social Studies and professor of environmental studies. Read his bio in The Conversation.
Trump’s Protectionism Continues Long History of U.S. Rejection of Free Trade
Free traders have vilified President Donald Trump as a pernicious protectionist because of policies such as hiking tariffs, abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership and saying he’s prepared to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
They fear his policies will hurt the U.S. economy by restricting access to foreign goods. But are these policies really so radically different from past administrations?
Absolutely not. The fact is the U.S. has never been a truly free trade country—one with virtually no barriers to trade with other nations—as some people seem to think. The idea that the U.S. ever was is a myth.