June 11, 2009
Markets generally take a “Stop them before they kill again!” approach to Democrats and trade policy. This is true even though Smoot, Hawley, and Hoover were Republicans, and Ronald Reagan holds the record for dollar value of restrictions imposed on U.S. imports. Certainly the anxiety level about Team Obama’s approach to trade rose as the Senate and House results showed significant Democratic gains on Nov. 4. Editorial boards quickly picked up the theme of protectionist risk, and it was amplified in Asia and Europe. The November 2008 G20 communiqué anticipated the threat of an activist Democratic trade agenda.