Our Founding Fathers Rejected
FREE TRADE And So Should We

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Retiring free traders lament protectionist turn on Capitol Hill

FREE TRADE NOSTALGIA IN CONGRESS: A number of free trade stalwarts are stepping down as this session comes to a close, from Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) — himself a former U.S. Trade Representative — in the Senate, to former House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and moderate Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.) in the lower chamber.

New, protectionist members: While there will still be plenty of free traders in Congress next term, a number of those market-expanding, tariff-lowering stalwarts will be replaced by new members more protectionist than them — part of a gradual slide away from the free trade consensus in the years since Donald Trump’s election as president.

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