trade policy in a future trump administration:
a view from the america first policy institute

American businesses and trading partners are beginning to struggle with a familiar problem: former President Donald Trump’s tariff threats. The former president and his advisers have been floating the idea of hiking tariffs to levels not seen in decades, leaving American businesses, foreign officials and their lobbyists with a recognizable dilemma. They can either acknowledge and publicly push back on the rhetoric — and potentially make the situation worse by sparking Trump’s ire — or keep quiet and risk being caught flat footed if Trump wins. The Republican presidential frontrunner is reportedly considering up to a 60 percent tariff on all imports from China and a 10 percent “universal” tariff on all other trading partners if he wins reelection in November. The fresh tariff threats open a new era of Trumpian uncertainty for American companies and trading partners as the former president closes in on the GOP presidential nomination.

What will trade policy look like in a potential future Trump administration? AmCham members are invited to participate in a virtual conversation with leaders of the American First Policy Institute on the morning of March 21 to discuss this important topic.

 The America First Policy Institute (AFPI) is a Washington-based think tank that was founded in 2021 to promote former President Trump’s public policy agenda. Eight former cabinet secretaries from the Trump Administration work at the think tank and Trump’s Save America PAC has donated $1 million to the institute. According to Politico, the group is often described as a “White House in waiting.”

Steve Yates is a senior fellow and chair of the China Policy Initiative at AFPI. He previously served as Deputy National Security Advisor to VP Dick Cheney, Chair of the Republican Party in Idaho, and advised the presidential campaigns of George Bush, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani on Asia policy.

Adam Savit is director of the China Policy Initiative at AFPI. He previously served as China Program Coordinator at the Center for Security Policy and has held research and communications roles in the national security policy space for more than a decade.

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