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Where Trump's Trade Policies Are Likely to Have the Largest Effect

Time will tell whether President Trump is able to enact any of the ambitious trade policies he proposed on the campaign trail, but research shows the cities that will prosper or suffer based on the success of those initiatives.
February 8, 2017, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Port of Los Angeles
Sheila Fitzgerald

Ana Swanson, Ted Mellnik, and Darla Cameron report on the potential impacts on local and regional communities should President Trump achieve his policy agenda on matters of trade—"sweeping measures"
such as "writing the free-trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, or new taxes to make imports more expensive and boost competing American goods."

The article shares research by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, presented visually in a map that illustrates the places in the United States "most exposed in a trade war." The map shows how dependent counties are on trade, by measuring how large a portion of the local economy is devoted to exports and how many jobs directly relate to export activity.

"While exposure to trade differs substantially across the country, every U.S. metro area has some exposure, with at least $1 out of every $20 generated in the local economy coming from exports. Most cities get much more. That means these cities have a lot to gain as well as potentially lose from major changes to trade policy," write the trio of reporters in sharing the findings of the Brookings analysis.

Interestingly, the city with the largest share of GDP devoted to exports is Columbus, Indiana, "the home base for engine-maker Cummins Inc. and other automotive manufacturers, and the hometown of Vice President Pence." That example fits a common theme in the data: counties that voted for Trump in the 2016 president election tend to have economies more devoted to exports. "According to Brookings estimates, exports make up 13 percent of local GDP in counties won by Trump, compared to 10 percent in counties won by Clinton," states the article. 

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Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in The Washington Post
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