Trump's trade follies presage more protectionism

Mr Donald Trump really is a protectionist. It is more than mere rhetoric. This is the lesson from the announcement that he would sign an order this week imposing global tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

These tariffs are not that important in themselves. But the rationale used to justify them, their proposed level and duration, the willingness to target close allies and the President's statement that "trade wars are good and easy to win" must alarm all informed observers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2018, with the headline 'Trump's trade follies presage more protectionism'. Print Edition | Subscribe