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Does protectionism really improve security?If one looks past the rhetoric, it is obvious that such measures really just reward particular constituents, and amount to an unfair form of taxation.U.S. President Donald Trump would argue that a trade war is a means to an end. His trade policy weakened Britain and strengthened Germany. And in a mere six years, his appeasement policy toward the Nazi Germany regime would reach its pinnacle with the 1938 Munich Agreement, which Hitler discarded six months later by destroying the rump Czechoslovakia and bringing it under the control of the Third Reich.Likewise, Poland, after fighting a customs war with Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, entered into a nonaggression pact with the Nazi regime in 1934 .This is especially true in the case of defensive alliances, because trade barriers force allies to forge closer ties with the very revisionist power that was supposed to be contained.By launching a tariff war that also affects the European Union and Canada, Trump is making China look like a more attractive partner than the U.S. To be sure, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have now reached a preliminary agreement to de-escalate the U.S.-EU tariff fight. But Trump has already roiled the trans-Atlantic alliance.
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