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Donald Trump marketed himself as the champion of the “forgotten” working class and was elected in large part by a combination of rural voters and urban residents in areas frequently referred to as the “rust belt.”

By promising to go after illegal immigrants who were robbing American jobs and foreign governments whose unfair trade practices were stealing our industrial base, Trump was elected on what was, despite his braggadocio, a narrow Electoral College victory. Since his election he has really done very little to help the base that elected him.

In fact, today he took a step that will almost certainly hurt his base by taking the first step in what could ultimately lead to a trade war with China which could quickly become global.

To his credit, he wants to protect American technology and intellectual property rights. However, isn’t there a better way to target those goals? Trump says that trade wars are “good” and “easy to win.” History states otherwise, and there is the lingering question of how many trade wars he has won. Inflation is edging up, interest rates are rising, and the stock market is reflecting wariness of Trump’s policies.

One thing is for sure. No matter who wins a trade war, the loser will be the American consumer; and the biggest losers will be the “forgotten” working class.

Kenneth R. England

Albany

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