History repeats itself on the protective tariff issue


#1

Some have said that the Trump campaign trade policy comments are a throwback to the 19th century. If he attempts to change policy with protective tariffs, they are right. Republican candidates from Abraham Lincoln to William McKinley and beyond mentioned the protective tariff on their campaign items. Here is one of the most explicit examples from Benjamin Harrison’s 1888 campaign.

At the time Great Britain was a major advocate for free trade. This is why “British pauper wages” are mentioned on the piece. In the 19th century American politians often benefited from “pulling the British lion’s tail” now and then.