EP 339 Are Trump’s Trade Policies Working?

Economist Alan Tonelson writes the independent blog Reality Chek and is author of the book, ‘Race to the Bottom’. He wrote that book many administrations back when he saw the practice of outsourcing growing and manufacturing losses pile up. He was critical of a trade policy that was built more on foreign policy objectives, rather than economic ones. And one that benefited large, multi-national companies more than small manufacturers. So we thought it would be a good time to check back with Alan, who has guested with us before, to get his take on President Trump’s trade policy and its impact on American workers and economy going forward. In general, he thinks the get tough strategy is working and he explains why, particularly in the case of the Chinese Phase One deal. Unlike many other economists in this field of study, he also feels that trade deficits do matter and the fact that ours is shrinking somewhat is a good sign. He walks us through the USMCA, or NAFTA II, and describes what it does, particularly for American farmers, and what it doesn’t do to his chagrin. If you want to understand these issues, and only have thirty minutes of time before the weeds get too tall, this is the podcast for you.