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Free trade flaws fueled Trump's rise in 2016 — and the problems remain, top economist says

·1 min

Decades of trade deficits and a strong dollar have contributed to the dissatisfaction with free trade and the adoption of protectionist policies in the United States. Richard Koo, chief economist at the Nomura Research Institute, believes that these conditions still exist. Koo acknowledges that protectionism is problematic but argues that there is some economic logic behind the approach taken by Donald Trump. The key issue, according to Koo, is the exchange rate, which has incentivized foreign imports and harmed American companies’ ability to export. Koo calls for a more managed approach to setting the exchange rate to prevent an increase in the number of losers of free trade.