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Over the last several decades, U.S. trade policies have failed most Americans. Under the guise of “free trade,” special interests have captured trade policy to extract wealth at home and abroad and left working people to bear the costs.

In 2016 Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to change the course of U.S. trade policy. He hasn’t. Instead, he’s doubled down on the pro-corporate approach, doing nothing to improve the quality, security, and wages of U.S. jobs, all of which have tumbled downward in key Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan.

There has been a larger trade deficit each year of Trump’s presidency than when he took over, and his tariff wars have made things worse. This saber rattling hasn’t stopped U.S. offshoring or investment in China, which is higher now than it was when Trump took office.

Now more than ever, we need a new trade policy to support an economic recovery from the pandemic and to start building an economy that works for everyone. But a hostile, us-against-them attitude towards the world jeopardizes our own welfare, increases the likelihood of a long global recession, and threatens serious conflicts abroad.

A new policy should emphasize international cooperation — rather than counterproductive tariff wars — to lift up working families around the world, stabilize the global economy, and provide a global order that protects public health and builds a green economy, now and for future generations.

Source of original article: Institute for Policy Studies (
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