Protectionism in Trade: Economy Booster or Smoot-Hawley Deja Vu?

Live Online
Friday, June 21, 2019
12:00 – 12:30PM EDT

Featuring Simon Lester, Associate Director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies; moderated by Caleb O. Brown, host of the Cato Daily Podcast.

The Trump Doctrine on trade and tariffs goes something like this: Our trading partners are cheating us, bilateral trade deficits are hurting the U.S. economy, U.S. negotiators have done a bad job with trade deals, and higher tariffs would help the U.S. economy.

“Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do,” Trump tweeted this May.

As it stands today, tariff levels are rivaling those set during the 1930s, when the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariffs severely prolonged the Great Depression—and some economists claim we’re headed for similar results.

So, what’s the truth? Will Trump’s protectionist trade policies bolster U.S. industries and boost the economy, or will his tariffs slow economic growth and lead us into another recession?

During this eBriefing, Simon Lester, associate director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, will provide his take on whether Trump’s trade policies will strengthen or strangle the economy.

But this discussion will also rely on your questions and observations for Simon’s response. Please submit any questions or comments ahead of time in the form above or send them to Audrey Grayson at agrayson@cato.org. Please note that it isn’t necessary to download any software to watch the briefing online, and you don’t need to reserve your spot. You will also be able to submit questions and comments during the event by typing them into the interface on the webpage.

If you have video problems during our discussion on the 21st, please refresh the page and try playing the video again. If any problems persist please contact Gabe Benitez at (202) 789-5215 or gbenitez@cato.org.



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