A trade plan to out-Trump Trump
Elizabeth Warren has a trade proposal—and it’s a lot like Trumpism dressed up for the Left, said Eric Boehm. Her plan, unveiled this week, calls for “establishing a set of standards countries must meet as a precondition for any trade agreement with America.” Those include “enforcement of collective bargaining, elimination of domestic fossil fuel subsidies, and a long-term plan to reduce carbon emissions.” Warren’s standards are so strict that no developing country would qualify. China wouldn’t, either, of course. “Warren says her administration ‘will engage in international trade—but on our terms and only when it benefits American families.’” This is one of those sentences in which “nothing that comes before the ‘but’ really matters.” It’s just protectionism that Warren hopes to execute more competently than the GOP. Like all protectionism, the plan relies on “magical thinking,” promising to raise living standards around the globe while helping American workers. Actually, it will do neither. “The evidence that Trump’s trade policies are harming the economy continues to grow.” Democrats should be running against Trump’s disastrous trade policies. Instead, they seem to be hoping that Trump will tip the country into a recession—so they can argue they’ll do a better job with the same bad ideas.