CASE Op-ed, Washington Times: Leveraging protectionist sentiment, Whirlpool goes into the spin mode
Whether intentional or not, a lot of President Trump’s rhetoric on trade, both as a candidate and since, has rekindled in some pundits a teary-eyed nostalgia for protectionism. Odes to America’s working class, who are seemingly cast aside in our nation’s quest for cheaper, foreign-made products, have proliferated our airwaves and dominated political pages.
While the needs of America’s workers and businesses should clearly be a top priority for lawmakers, we all know economic realities don’t always fit into a tidy script. In a given year, the U.S. economy creates and destroys some 30 million jobs. Trade accounts for many of these job gains but only a fraction of losses. Automation, business decisions, currency fluctuations, and even the weather account for much of this churning. But consumer preferences play an enormous role like no other.