Trump's toxic leadership takes its toll on US trade

In the "America First" world view of President Donald Trump, the complexities of international trade can be boiled down to "exports, good; imports, bad". Countries and companies that export are winners, while imports are for losers.

The US trade deficit, he says, is proof that his predecessors' weak leadership has allowed America to be taken advantage of, costing it hundreds of billions of dollars. His remedy to America's perceived weakness: strength through tariffs and protectionism, with China top of the list for corrective action.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2018, with the headline 'Trump's toxic leadership takes its toll on US trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe