"Trade deals can be renegotiated — sure, let’s get a better deal with China — as countries and their economies evolve and the needs of their citizens change. The American economy was once dependent on manufacturing; today, service exports carry much more of the load. It doesn’t mean we don’t build jets or cars or chips, but it does mean that the software and computing algorithms that operate in those things may have as much value as the hardware and may provide better jobs.
Mr. Trump doesn’t see it that way. He lives in a world where Pittsburgh is still Steel City. But it’s not the 1960s anymore — Pittsburgh makes sophisticated robots, not steel.
Threatening an all-out trade war, insulting our next-door neighbor and ally, will not change the nature of our economy, only damage it. In Wisconsin and Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, farmers who need to maintain access to foreign markets are hoping that Mr. Trump’s bluster is just that, a negotiating tactic, and that cooler heads will eventually prevail.
Don’t bet the farm on it."