Robert Brent Toplin

Trump’s tariff war resembles the Confederacy’s failed trade policies

Current efforts by the United States to put tariff pressures on China resemble the Confederacy’s efforts to pressure Great Britain during the American Civil War. In the early 1860s the Confederate leaders’ strategy backfired, damaging the southern economy and weakening the South’s military. Recent developments in the tariff fight with China suggest that President Trump’s strategy could backfire as well. America’s tariff negotiators should consider lessons from the record of Confederate missteps.

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How Trump is disrupting the US economy

Donald Trump has been president for only two of the ten years of America’s economic expansion since the Great Recession, yet he eagerly takes full credit for the nation’s advancement. It has been easy for him to boast because he had the good fortunate to occupy the White House during a mature stage of the recovery. The president’s fans attribute booming markets and low unemployment to his leadership even though Trump’s words and actions at the White House have often broken the economy’s momentum. In recent months, especially, Trump’s interference in business affairs has put U.S. and global progress at risk.

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