Last week I discussed the rise of the Millennials and the implications for trade policy. Today I’d like to expand that and look at the impact on partisan politics.
Over the past 150 years, America’s two main political parties’ positions on trade have flip-flopped. In the 19th century, the Republicans were the dominant party in the northeast, and they tended to favor high tariffs that would benefit their manufacturers. Abraham Lincoln, for example, was an unabashed high tariff man. The Democratic Party was particularly strong in the South, where agriculture, including large commodity crops like cotton, dominated. Southerners wanted to export their production and have access to cheaper foreign machinery and therefore tended to favor low tariffs.
Read the full article here.