- Written by John Weeks
Of the many reasons for a rational person to look upon the Trump presidency with anxiety, ‘protectionism’ frequently appears at the top of the list in the mainstream media. The Independent quoted an executive of a large mining consortium warning us of “global trauma” should the new president fulfil his promise to introduce tariffs. Some progressive commentators seem to share the protectionist anxiety. In response to Trump’s declaration that “protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland told his readers that this assertion is “in defiance of the historical experience that says protection leads, in fact, to crisis and world war.” Given the seriousness of these warnings, their validity bears investigation.