For once, Paul Krugman is right. Protectionism is a much overblown danger. The greater danger is the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S.
People should not be confused by the talk of the U.S. political campaigns. Trump, of course, has talked about imposing a 45% tariff. That sounds tough and it may be good for Trump’s campaign. But remember again that a President is not a Prime Minister. A President can’t just decree a tariff. It must be initiated by the House of Representatives and also passed by the Senate. Moreover, the U.S. would have to withdraw from the WTO and that again would have to be confirmed by the Congress. That’s in the case that Trump really means what he says on this point. I very much doubt that he does.