Donald Trump and the History of American Protectionism: A New Documentary


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Featuring Marc-William Palen (Exeter), Helen Milner (Princeton), Bill Galston (Brookings Institution), Carla Hills (former US trade representative), David Auter (MIT), David Taylor (Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association), Bruce Springsteen, and Ferris Bueller, Edward Stourton examines America’s long history of resistance to free trade, and asks why it has again become such a potent political force in a new documentary for BBC Radio 4.

Donald Trump’s most consistent policy has been opposition to free trade agreements which he sees as unfair, particularly with China. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has been equally opposed, if for different reasons, while Hillary Clinton has had to tack away from her previous support for free trade pacts. Edward looks back to debates from the 19th century to the 1990s to shed new light on these forces. And he asks whether the protectionist impulse is a natural reaction to globalisation’s wrenching changes. Click here to listen.

2 thoughts on “Donald Trump and the History of American Protectionism: A New Documentary

  1. Capitalists have NO flag:
    The conflict between the American State and the Corporations (with US origins) is at the heart of the rise of Trump. The state suffers when Corporations go off-shore for either tax or production purposes. The roads, healthcare, military/police the CIA (which alone employs 46,000 people) need to be paid for – because without them civilisation in the USA would collapse.
    Could Americans live without a state? Look at post-soviet 1990s Russia or Libya or Venezuela today.

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