Battle between ideologies could determine trade case’s fate

PV Magazine

8/28/17

Axios reported this morning that during a tense meeting between President Donald J. Trump and his economic advisors, the president apparently said this:

“For the last six months, this same group of geniuses [Editor’s Note: Referring to his economic team] comes in here all the time and I tell them, ‘Tariffs. I want tariffs.'”

If accurate, Trump’s statement revealed an ever-intensifying war between the president’s economic advisors and other non-economic policy advisors. The economic advisors, many from the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, argue that tariffs are an ineffective mechanism for shaping international trade relations, preferring to let the market sort it out with its Invisible Hand, a belief in the power of the market which in many cases borders on fundamentalism.

On the other side, including former Trump Senior Advisor Steve Bannon, among others, are economic nationalists who believe in using tariffs and other mechanisms to protect domestic industries from what they view as unfair trade practices by global competitors like China and the European Union.

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