Donald Trump won the US Presidential election 2016 on a major promise to protect jobs for the locals and to arrest unchecked migration. This has the potential to end decades of the US economy built on free market. While this did a lot of good for world trade, it resulted in the US losing out.
While the continuous boom years post-1980s helped the US economy record multi-faceted growth, it also witnessed the US losing its pre-eminence in several sectors including agriculture. European countries followed by Japan and Korea, Mexico and several other Latin American countries, China and India in the recent two decades, have been thriving on this open market policy of the US. The economic giant, which encouraged migration, has been recording negative trade balances with an increasing number of countries and has been sustained on huge public debt. The saving grace has been its continued dominance in high technology areas thanks to its strong educational system, entrepreneurship, drive towards energy self-sufficiency and space technology. But all the while the US has been losing on its traditional strength of manufacturing. These did impact on jobs especially at the lower end.
Donald Trump focused on this factor to win the presidency. Even before he assumed power, he has given a rude shock to several countries across the globe by announcing several drastic measures like constructing a wall across Mexico, its southern neighbour and high import tariffs on automobiles and other imports.
Over the last couple of decades large super markets across the US have been stacked with imported goods, largely Chinese, of every description. China has built its economy on exports in large volumes especially to the US and surely it will also be on the firing line of Donald Trump. To be fair to Trump, one should point to several countries including highly developed ones like Japan and fast developing ones like China and India erecting huge walls against free imports. Therefore they cannot protest overmuch.
The evolution of the European Community through free economic union over the last seven decades has been the driving force in ending centuries of nationalism-based, cross border animosities. Today there is the danger of the world reverting to the pre World War II conflicts among nation states.