🔒 ‘Trumponomics’ Mark II: What to expect from a bold return to ‘America first’ policies if Trump wins 2024

In the 2024 campaign, Donald Trump aims to leverage his economic track record against Joe Biden, banking on widespread voter trust in handling financial issues. Trump’s strategy includes reinforcing the “America First” trade agenda, particularly targeting China with tariff hikes and potential decoupling measures. He plans to make his individual tax cuts permanent, with a focus on fiscal restraint, deregulation, and immigration restrictions. Trump vows to reverse Biden’s climate policies, challenge the Federal Reserve, and revive a pro-American energy policy. The campaign’s central theme echoes Reagan’s iconic question: “Are you better off than you were four years

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Trumponomics 2.0: What to Expect If Trump Wins the 2024 Election

By Enda Curran and Nancy Cook

For Donald Trump, the economy is Joe Biden’s problem. Poll after poll shows that voters overwhelmingly trust the former Republican president more than the Democratic incumbent to handle economic issues. A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult survey from December had voters in seven battleground states expressing more confidence in Trump’s ability to tackle a wide range of pocketbook issues, including housing, interest rates and inflation, along with balancing the budget.

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Stephen Moore, an informal adviser to Trump and a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says inflation and the state of the middle class will be among Trump’s major lines of attack against Biden in 2024. “It is all about: ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ That is shaping up to be one of the major themes of his campaign,” Moore says.

Trump’s counselors on economic issues include former National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and former Council of Economic Advisers Chair Kevin Hassett.

While some elements of Trump’s agenda signal continuity with his first term as president, others—in areas such as trade—present scope for shock and awe. Here’s a snapshot of some of the presumptive Republican candidate’s economic policy positions.

Trade and investment

Trump has made it clear he plans to double down on his “America First” agenda. He’s floated the idea of encircling US industry with a 10% tariff, which would bring a fresh wave of disruptions to supply chains. Such a move would pressure allies including Canada, Mexico and even Japan to the table to negotiate concessions, a playbook the former president used during his first term.

China

Beyond tariffs, Trump would push for a decoupling of the world’s two biggest economies with measures that include ending most-favored-nation status for China, which would raise tariffs and potentially other trade barriers to Chinese imports. Additional restrictions on investment and the flow of capital to China would also be likely. There are signs of congressional support for Trump’s hawkish trade agenda: A bipartisan group of lawmakers in December recommended raising tariffs on goods from China and further restricting investment in the country.

Taxes

The Trump team plans to make permanent the individual tax cuts he enacted as president, which are set to expire in 2025. The cuts primarily benefit wealthy households, small-business owners and those in the real estate industry. Moore says Trump may use any revenue from additional tariffs to fund their extension or deepening. During Trump’s term, negotiations between his administration and Congress led to the corporate tax rate being lowered from 35% to 21%. People familiar with Trump’s plans say that as the Republican front-runner campaigns for the support of working- and middle-class voters, he won’t be pushing to lower the rate further, to 15%, as was his goal at the start of his presidency.

Immigration

Sweeping executive orders to restrict immigration look likely if Trump regains the Oval Office, along with an order to end automatic citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants born in the US, though that will likely face legal challenges. “They want to feast off the sweat and savings of the American taxpayer,” Trump said at a rally in November. “We’re not going to let it happen. I will end it all immediately.”

Fiscal policy

Trump has never been known for fiscal austerity. His 2017 tax cuts exploded the budget deficit; he also refuses to touch Social Security and Medicare, among the biggest drivers of the long-term growth in the deficit. On the campaign trail, Trump promises to rein in what he calls excessive government spending on foreign aid, climate subsidies, immigration and other areas. Part of his message to voters is that his isolationist stance will save taxpayers money by, among other things, freeing the country from involvement in expensive overseas conflicts such as the war in Ukraine.

Deregulation

Trump has proposed bringing regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission under presidential authority, while vowing to cut two existing regulations for every new one proposed. Federal government workers would also need to sit for a new civil service test that focuses on the limits of federal power.

Biden Photographer: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Climate

Trump would spurn Biden’s climate policies via measures that include rescinding energy regulations such as fuel economy and emissions standards. He’d also pull back out of the Paris climate accord, a move he made while in office.

Powell Photographer: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg

The Fed

During his presidency, Trump was a vocal critic of the US Federal Reserve. In 2019 he accused the central bank of behaving like a “stubborn child” in refusing to cut interest rates. That pressure could resume if he’s reelected. Policymakers have signaled rates may come down before the end of 2024, but they caution policy will remain restrictive for some time. Trump has also said he wouldn’t reappoint Fed Chair Jerome Powell when his term expires in 2026.

Energy

“When I am back in the White House, I will bring back a pro-American energy policy at long last,” Trump said in a video message released in November. If reelected, he’s promised to remove all obstacles to massively ramping up drilling in the US for oil and natural gas. He’s also vowed to speed up the approval of natural gas pipelines into the Marcellus Shale. Another priority: doing away with incentives to nudge the US in the direction of electric vehicles and clean energy.

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