Understanding the Trump Trade Doctrine

This is a VERY interesting take on President Trump’s trade doctrine from Stephen Moore (click here for additional articles on the topic):

Last week, Donald Trump dialed back his earlier call for a punitive and blanket tariff on imported steel and aluminum. Good decision. The financial markets rallied, as the new plan specifically targets countries that are cheating and stealing, such as China and Russia, and provides exemptions for allies.

It was a reminder that, with Trump, it always comes down to the art of the deal.

Trump’s original call for blanket tariffs got the world’s attention and reiterated to world leaders that Trump doesn’t bluff.

That’s a useful lesson for our friends and foes alike.

Trump makes a strong case that many of our trading partners — most notably, China — are violating trade-agreement rules left and right and stealing American patents and intellectual property. And they have been doing so for years and years with impunity.

China is estimated to be pirating more than a half trillion dollars’ worth of American technology, inventions, drugs, vaccines and computer software each year. That is theft, and it cannot stand.

Trump is right that we’ve tolerated these abuses under a belief that to challenge them would violate principles of free trade. There has also been a sense of resignation in Washington over this issue — a feeling that there isn’t much America can do about it. Nonsense. We are being played as suckers.

Trump has introduced a new strategic doctrine on trade, and though I have some reservations (I opposed the steel tariffs), it’s important that we understand it and realistically assess its merits.

Based on my conversations with Donald Trump on this subject, his doctrine is predicated on the undeniable truism that nations such as China and Russia need America far more than we need them. We both benefit from our transactions, but they benefit more than we do.

Read more: Townhall