The 2016 presidential contest in the United States has been characterized by a particularly heated debate about the role that trade policy should play in promoting US prosperity and national interests. From the start of the campaign with the 1 February Iowa caucuses and the 9 February New Hampshire primary, the impact of past and current trade agreements on US growth, jobs, and wages – and on the global standing of the United States – has been front and centre. Donald Trump’s twin hostility to trade deals and liberal immigration policies provided him with a winning path to the Republican nomination during the third week of July in Cleveland. Hillary Clinton, for her part, was able to secure the Democratic nomination the following week in Philadelphia by a comfortable margin, but only after facing down a challenge on her left from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who made his opposition to all US trade pacts a key part of his appeal to voters.

This Policy Brief was originally published by the European Policy Center on October 27, 2016. Continue reading here.


Peter Rashish is a Non-Resident Fellow at AICGS.