REAGAN TARIFFS: BENEFICIAL OR NOT?
Donald Trump loves to talk about Ronald Reagan’s free trade policies. When asked about his policies, Trump said that his plan was to impose tariffs on China, much like Reagan imposed tariffs on Japan. However, were Reagan’s tariffs truly as beneficial as Trump makes them out to be? Peter Navarro, economic advisor to the GOP nominee and professor at the University of California at Irvine, says that they were, and argues that Trump, just like Reagan, is an advocate of free trade and will cut deals that prevent the United States from getting cheated. While it is true that Reagan’s tariffs prevented Japan from selling products below market price in order to gain market share, they also put U.S. workers at risk. Erecting higher barriers is not the way to go, says Clifford Winston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Along with other trade experts, Winston argues that these tariffs would inevitably result in a decrease in U.S. jobs, and an increase in manufacturer costs as well as prices.