The mercantilist trade views, which Trump holds, were dominant during the 15th to the mid-18th centuries. The perspective lost its allure in the 18th century especially following the pro-free trade writings of Adam Smith. But Trump still holds the perspective dear. One wonders why especially when seeing the crony Wilbur Ross so close to Trump even during the missile attack on Syria. Got that? The Commerce Secretary next to Trump during the attack!
|Trump and staff monitoring the missile attack on Syria from the Mar-a-Lago situation room.|
Murray Rothbard has pointed out that mercantilism is simply a system of systematic state privilege. He stated that their 'theories' were any propaganda arguments, however faulty or contradictory, that could win them a slice of boodle from the state apparatus.
Kudlow, who has advised Trump on economic issues, expressed frustration at the president's focus on trade deficits, a key if nonsensical focus point of mercantilists.
During a recent commentary on CNBC, Kudlow said (via NPR):
I don't understand it. Trade deficit is a terrible gauge of the economy. Or let me put it in reverse. If we're in a position of having a large trade deficit that means we're growing, and we're growing faster than the rest of the world.Ross has been outspoken in his view that trade "violators" should be punished severely.
We're importing capital, and that capital can build factories, can put up car plants, whatever. It's fabulous.
In the past, he benefited from steel tariffs imposed by President George W. Bush in 2002, announced just after his purchase of bankrupt steelmaker LTV Corp. Ross’s company also acquired Bethlehem Steel, Weirton Steel and Acme Steel to form International Steel Group and eventually sold the company for $4.5 billion.