Trump Should Avoid Trade Wars To Keep The Economy Booming

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Ken Blackwell Former Ohio Secretary of State
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President Donald Trump’s push to modernize American trade policy is spot-on.

America finally has a leader in the in the White House committed to updating our existing trade agreements, which currently give an unfair advantage to our partners and leave Americans workers behind. So far, we’ve seen billions of dollars — which were sitting offshore — come back into the American economy.

One aspect of the administration’s trade policy agenda, however, is hurting American jobs — particularly for those of us in the Midwest.

Spearheaded by the president’s top trade advisor Peter Navarro, punitive tariffs are resulting in a trade war which could undo the economic boom caused by the historic tax cuts. If this is not resolved, then there may be serious consequences for the president’s reelection map.

President Trump is the first Republican in decades to nearly sweep the Midwest. Voters responded to his promises to protect the forgotten middle-class against globalism. However, trade wars hurt many of those same voters.

Mr. Navarro’s ever-shifting positions open the White House up to political problems as well, as the policies he champions are about to crush soybeans, corn, Harley-Davidson and other vehicle transportation manufacturers. Perhaps Navarro, a California Democrat, has no way of understanding the president’s supporters.

At every step, Democrats are stumbling in their efforts to take back the majority in the House. But trade wars will give them powerful ammunition with which to attack Republicans.

For the first time in years, Democrats are attempting to take Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, even though it is deeply Republican. And far-left Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown should be more vulnerable than polling indicates.

In Wisconsin, Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin leads all her possible Republican challengers. The recent announcement that Harley-Davidson will be moving jobs overseas due to tariffs will make that vital Senate seat much harder to win.

Last month at a poll in Wisconsin, voters who hadn’t voted for a Republican President since Reagan until 2016 overwhelmingly said that Navarro’s tariff initiatives will hurt their state. When polled, only 29 percent said they would help.

My friend Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic advisor and a champion of free markets, has warned that these tariffs will jeopardize the economy and the stock market, which has been reaching record highs.

Democrats are motivated and fueled by anger heading into the 2018 midterms. If they take the House, they will slow down — if not outright stop — President Trump’s extraordinary efforts.

The president’s promises to bring jobs back, cut taxes and stimulate job growth are what grabbed the Midwest from Hillary Clinton. For the first time in decades, we have a chance to secure Republican victories across states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Let’s avoid the trade wars, keep winning and continue the Trump economic boom!

Ken Blackwell is a Member of the Boards of Directors of the National Taxpayers Union and the Club for Growth. He is an Advisor to the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.