This World Politics in a Time of Populist Nationalism (WPTPN) guest post is written by Layna Mosley, Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She researches the political economy of multinational production, labor rights, and sovereign debt and can be found on Twitter @thwillow.
President Trump’s first days in office have been marked by a continuation of his pledges to fundamentally remake US trade policy. On January 23, the website of the United States Trade Representative, the executive branch agency charged with negotiating and implementing US trade policy, underwent a radical redesign. The site’s front page now touts the “America First Trade Policy,” in which the “landscape of trade policy” is revised “to work for all Americans.” Four days later, the administration announced – with subsequent qualification later — a 20 percent tax on all imports to the US (or, perhaps, on all imports from Mexico).