President Donald Trump arrives at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
Whether it is a year and a half or five and a half years from now, eventually Donald Trump will not be president of the United States. A key legacy of this president will be his ability to unilaterally impose tariffs (i.e. taxes on American customers) for any purpose, at any time, and without Republican opposition.
Historically, the Republican Party has been a reliable and proud advocate for free trade. At the dawn of the century, the official party platform stated “Republicans are confident that the worldwide trade agenda is full of promise. Tariffs should be cut further.”
Today, the Republican Party is no longer the free trade party. It has acquiesced to the radical and reckless trade policies of this administration and no longer has any credibility to tout the virtues of free trade.
That acquiescence is documented in Republican elected officials’ reactions to President…