Trade Policy Parallels

Surely, it’s occurred to others, but I find the following comparison of trade policy stances quite remarkable.


Note: PNTR denotes Permanent Normal Trade Relations, formerly known as “Most Favored Nation” status. Source: Author’s tabulations based on the following sources:

Bold Face URLs denote official campaign websites.

7 thoughts on “Trade Policy Parallels

  1. Steven Kopits

    It’s not surprising at all, I think. Both Bernie and Trump belong to the rebels, the outsiders. The establishment on both sides is trying to get rid of them–to no avail!

    Right now, the little guy, both left and right, equates political expertise and professionalism with impotence and incompetence. Yeah, all those guys with Harvard diplomas are great, but what have they actually done for the last eight years?

    Because of the gridlock (which I attribute to Obama, and you to the Republicans), establishment credentials are viewed with suspicion. It is the left and right symptom of the same sentiment.

    I hardly need add that you remedy this situation with an performance incentive plan for politicians, but I doubt it will be better received than at other times.

    1. Steven Kopits

      I think that’s a key question in the election. Really, there are two:

      a. How does the choice of President affect the Supreme Court? The choice makes a very big difference in this matter.

      b. Can or how can the President interact with Congress? On this front, here are how I see the choices, in order:

      1. Kasich: proven problem solver, can work across the aisle. Realizes it’s not actually his money.
      2. Rubio, Hillary, Jeb: All pragmatists, all will spend more money, but they can get the job done.
      2a. Trump: Trump does know how to do a deal, but it hurts me to even imagine him as President
      3. Cruz: No idea what we get from him, but it’s not what we’ve gotten. May be functional, but maybe not.
      4. Bernie: We will probably see another 4-8 years of deadlock with Bernie. He’s really a vote for the status quo, to my mind.

  2. Bruce Hall

    So, it appears that two philosophically diametrically opposed individuals can agree that the product counterfeiter center of the world might not be a good trading partner. In the room to the far left, Sanders deplores the direct impact on labor as jobs disappear into the Middle Kingdom. In the room to the far right, Trump deplores the loss of U.S. business dominance and the undermining of the U.S. economy as manufacturing disappears.

    They are consistent within their own value systems while observing the phenomenon results.

    But the problem is that they are watching the earth get warmer from a very cold period with a coincidental rise in CO2 and declaring that we are causing climate “change”. Oh, I mean they are observing reductions in the U.S. economic growth that they don’t like and observing a coincidental rise in China’s economy from a very low base and declaring that it is China’s “manipulation” that is responsible for the changes. However, good scientists and good economists understand that temporary coincidence does not, in itself, prove causality.

  3. randomworker

    Interesting comments from SK. I would tend to agree that Sanders and Trump are two sides of the same coin. It has seemed that Sanders pulls some of the old Paulistas. And Trump some of the old Reagan Democrats. That’s why I am not so sanguine about a Democratic win if Trump is the Republican nominee and Clinton is the Democrat.

    Rubio blows the budget wide open. Like with his Senate run, he’s against comprehensive immigration reform while running, then immediately upon winning triespecially to pass amnesty. But he will sign all the bills Ryan and McConnell send him.

    I think with Cruz, much as I dislike him, you might get a little more discipline, a little more liberty. Hiss senate colleagues despise him, so it might not be so slam dunk like with Rubio.

    I think Sanders gets chewed up and spit out. Congress will completely cut his cojones off and step on them. One term, if that.

    Kasich. As a Democrat I hope for anow opposition I can respect and live with. I felt that about GHWB. I think I would feel that about Kasich.

  4. Marko

    So , what this table tells me is that if Hillary wins out over Sanders , I should vote for Trump.

    Man , that’s gonna be hard to do ! But , if you say so…..

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Marko: OK. If you can live with all imported goods rising in price by 20%, I can too! And a tit-for-tat trade war with China, I can live with that too! In fact, I guess we’ll have to.

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