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Why trade deficits are not a bad thing

In Trump’s US and closer to home, decision-makers don’t understand how the global economy really works

By David Henig  

Photo: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

US trade is really quite simple in the eyes of President Trump. As he said in March 2018, “we as a nation lost $817bn dollars on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable.” A trade deficit is bad, and such a big trade deficit particularly bad. Tariffs are the answer, and in this way domestic industries will be protected and the trade deficit will go down.

Trump said in December 2018: “I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come…

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