Trump’s New Trade Policy: Concepts, Agendas and Constraints

China International Studies (English) - - Contents - Wu Qisheng

Trump’s trade policy, under the “America First” principle, aims to increase investment in domestic manufacturing, eliminate long-run deficits and achieve significant economic growth, but the multiple inherent contradictions in the policy’s logic and practices would greatly impede his agenda.

During the 2016 US presidential election campaign, Donald Trump identified trade policy reforms along with taxation, regulatory policy reforms and energy policy reforms as the four major reforms in his economic plan. He also put forward a roadmap for the reforms in trade policy. Since taking office, the Trump administration has gradually fulfilled the campaign promises on trade issues, including withdrawing from the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, nominating a hawkish head in charge of trade, promoting renegotiation on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), strengthening law enforcement on trade, etc. After a year in power, the foreign trade policy framework of the Trump administration has taken shape, and a series of new policies have been introduced. Accurately understanding and evaluating the administration’s trade concepts, agendas and their internal contradictions is of great significance in grasping the trend of US foreign trade policy.

Basic Concepts of Trump’s Trade Policy

Trade policy reform is an important part of the Trump administration’s economic plan, and reflects the economic concepts of President Trump himself and his policy team. The Trump administration regards the increase of domestic investment and net exports as a prerequisite for economic

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