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Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for the US economy? Show more Show less
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As the 2020 US election approaches, the candidates' approach to key policy areas is coming under scrutiny. Their plans for the economy are especially important in the wake of the coronavirus and subsequent soaring unemployment rates and economic recession. Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden be better for the US economy?

Joe Biden will be better for the US economy Show more Show less

Joe Biden proved his economic nous during the Obama Presidency. His 2020 manifesto lays out a strong plan for revitalising the economy in the wake of a historic recession.
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Joe Biden will end Trump's unsuccessful trade wars

Trump oversells the success of his strongman tariff policies. This negotiation style has seen Trump repeatedly fail to meet his own year-on-year 4%+ growth pronouncements.

The Argument

Trump’s hostile approach to foreign trade has not had the desired impact, costing the US economy 0.3% of GDP and the average household up to $1,000 each year.[1] Biden plans to take a more conciliatory approach, focusing on building alliances rather than unilaterally imposing tariffs, as Trump has done. For example, Biden wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump started the process to withdraw from; renewing traditional alliances is an important step in securing the long-term prosperity and resilience. Biden’s trade and foreign policies are likely to be in the same spirit as those of the Obama presidency, where he served as vice president. This will involve repairing relations with states and alliances, such as the EU, which have been harmed by Trump’s aggression.[2] Undoing the damage of Trump’s trade wars would bring a significant benefit to the US economy, securing trading relations and bringing stability to affected industries.

Counter arguments

Trump’s trade policies have been successful in achieving foreign policy objectives and protecting American businesses. The imposition of tariffs has countered the race to the bottom brought about by globalisation, protecting American industry against foreign competition. At the same time, tariffs have increased government revenue significantly, bringing in $79 billion in 2019.[3] Undoing the Trump administration’s trade deals would expose many American industries to foreign competition, driving down wages and harming businesses.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Trump's trade policies have had a negative effect on the US economy [P2] Biden wants to largely reverse Trump's trade policy [P3] Therefore, Biden's trade policies will bring positive outcomes for the US economy

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/media/article/2019/trade-war-chicken.pdf
  2. https://www.ft.com/content/25d54717-2803-45f3-b54a-9b147e9a8951
  3. https://www.brookings.edu/policy2020/votervital/did-trumps-tariffs-benefit-american-workers-and-national-security/
This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 09:01 UTC

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