Democrats Don’t Realize They’re the Free Trade Party

Ron Brownstein: “This silence speaks volumes about the Democrats’ inability, or unwillingness, to recognize the evolving nature of the party’s demographic and geographic base. While many Democrats still think of the party as the home of blue-collar industrial regions hostile to trade, in fact, the party is now centered in the major metropolitan areas that are integrated into global markets and at the forefront of the transition into the information-age, digital economy. The most telling measure of that shift: while Hillary Clinton won fewer than one-sixth of America’s counties in 2016, her counties accounted for nearly 60 percent of all US exports, according to calculations by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the center-left Brookings Institution.”

“Yet few Democrats are articulating the interest of those areas in the tariff debate — either because they share the President’s long-standing suspicion of free trade, or because they fear antagonizing the labor unions who promote protectionist policies as well.”

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