The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take: For the First Time Ever, Both Parties Are Abandoning Free Trade

Charles Krauthammer argues that both parties’ rejection of free trade will alter the international landscape:

What [Trump] saw from the Republican primaries is that the traditional ideology — free trade, more reasonable, more open on borders — was something that everything else was supporting. And he saw a real opening, and he won the nomination essentially on that message. The question is how will it play in the country.

I think what’s most interesting is that fact that, if the Republicans are now abandoning free trade, for the first time ever in our memory, we’re having a presidential campaign where neither side is for free trade, which I think bodes really badly for our allies abroad, the Australians, the Canadians, the Mexicans. Imagine the Mexicans looking at the cancelation of NAFTA and what effect it would have on them.

They’re looking at a race where the country, with both parties, is now moving against free trade. They’d always assume that the United States would be the one country that would rise above the most narrow economic nationalism and save the idea of free trade. That’s not going to be true come January 2017, and that will change the whole international landscape.

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