Wolfers' take on Trump’s tariffs

November 28, 2018

While President Trump’s rhetoric about trade and the tariffs his administration has implemented aim to make America more protectionist, Ford School professor Justin Wolfers argues the recent and forthcoming actions still have a long way to go to make that a reality. “The United States is still less protectionist than it has been throughout most of its history or than most nations are today,” writes Wolfers in “Trump’s Tariffs Haven’t Really Transformed Trade. Yet.” 

In the New Yok Times economic view column that ran on November 21, 2018, Wolfers puts into perspective the annual $42 billion in additional revenue America would bring in through the President’s actions, describing the figure as “modest” compared to the $2.3 trillion Americans spent on imports last year. Wolfers contrasts this with the risk that “even if relatively small tariff increases haven’t imposed much pain, further escalation could have far more severe consequences.” 

Read Justin Wolfers full column at the New York Times. 

Justin Wolfers is a professor of public policy and economics. He also serves as a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers. Wolfers' research interests include labor economics, macroeconomics, political economy, social policy, law and economics, and behavioral economics.