Protectionism is back on the U.S. policy agenda

(Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump has long been keen to defend U.S. workers from the “carnage” of “bad trade deals.”

To that end, he has now decided to impose tariffs and quotas on imports of steel and aluminum. He also threatened the EU with trade barriers on automobiles and could take even more measures on intellectual property rights and technology goods.

It is more plausible than not that this is the beginning of a costly tit-for-tat whereby U.S. trade protection will be...

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