Outside the Box: Trump should sell his plan as tough love, not a trade war

If the news accounts are correct, the biggest problem with President Donald Trump’s reported plans for stiff import tariffs isn’t its potential to start a destructive global trade war that would backfire on America.

The biggest problem is the administration’s failure to view — and explain — them as an effort (long delayed) to prevent lopsided international trade flows from triggering another 2008-like crisis that will leave all the world’s economies worse off.

That near global meltdown is normally viewed as a failure of the financial sector and its regulators, especially in the United States. But its real-economy roots mustn’t be ignored.

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