The Democratic Party Debates Itself—and Trump—on Trade

From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019 (AP photo by David J. Phillip).
From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019 (AP photo by David J. Phillip).

Trade has rarely been a major issue in American presidential elections, but that could change in 2020. The obvious way for Democratic candidates to differentiate themselves from a protectionist, “trade wars are good, and easy to win” President Donald Trump would be to embrace free trade more. But Democrats traditionally have been more critical of free trade than Republicans, and the leftward tilt among party activists and some leading candidates makes that even more likely next year. So far, only former Maryland Congressman John Delaney has embraced the free trade alternative, and he is doing so poorly in polls that […]

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