Protectionism under Trump: The China Shock, Intolerance, and the 'First White President'

28 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2019

See all articles by Marcus Noland

Marcus Noland

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; East-West Center

Date Written: June 28, 2019

Abstract

In 2016, the United States elected an avowedly protectionist president. This paper uses US county-level electoral data to examine this outcome. The hypothesis that support for protectionism was purely a response to globalization is rejected. Exposure to trade competition encouraged a shift to the Republican candidate, but this effect is mediated by race, diversity, education, and age. If the turn toward protectionism is due to economic dislocation, then public policy interventions could mitigate the impact and support the reestablishment of a political consensus for open trade. If, however, the drivers are identity or cultural values, then the scope for constructive policy intervention is unclear.

Keywords: China shock, Donald Trump, globalization, protectionism, sociotropic voting

JEL Classification: D72, F13, F68, Z13

Suggested Citation

Noland, Marcus, Protectionism under Trump: The China Shock, Intolerance, and the 'First White President' (June 28, 2019). Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper No. 19-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3411658 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3411658

Marcus Noland (Contact Author)

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

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East-West Center ( email )

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Honolulu, HI 96848-1601
United States

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