Here’s a historical fact that Donald Trump, and many voters attracted to him, may not know: The last American president who was a trade protectionist was Republican Herbert Hoover. Obviously that economic strategy didn’t turn out so well — either for the nation or the GOP.
Does Trump aspire to be a 21st century Hoover with a modernized platform of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff that helped send the U.S. and world economy into a decade-long depression and a collapse of the banking system?
We can’t help wondering whether the panic in world financial markets is in part a result of the Trump assault on free trade.
Trump is also now running full throttle on an anti-immigration platform that could hurt growth as well and alienate Republicans from ethnic voters that the GOP needs if it is going to win in 2016.
We call this the Trump Fortress America platform. He clearly sees international trade and immigration as a negative sum game for American workers.