The Corner

President Trump and Trade

My latest column, out this morning, is on the flipside of trade. The headline asks the right question: “Why is President Trump attacking foreign investment in the United States?”

You likely haven’t heard Trump criticize international capital flowing into the United States. At least, not directly. But when the president and his administration attack the trade deficit, they are attacking foreign investment in the United States.

I also ask in the column why the president is attacking the liberal order and economic liberty.

Retreating from free trade is a partial retreat from the history shaping idea that free exchange is good, and that two individual parties should be left to their own judgment as to whether a trade of goods, services or income makes both parties better off — replacing their judgment with the judgment of bureaucrats and politicians. Retreating from free trade means embracing industrial policy, reducing long-term growth, pulling back from a position of leadership in the world, increasing the role of government and decreasing political and economic liberty.

Read the column here. As always, your comments are very welcome.