The argument is as childish as it sounds. Chinese protectionism doesn’t make our protectionism right, and was probably spurred by American protectionism to begin with. (In fact, we’re lucky that some countries didn’t retaliate—like Canada.) By unilaterally walking away from our W.T.O. obligations and trade agreements, the
A quote from the L.A. Times article says that “‘Buy American’ provisions of one form or another have been around since the 1930s, and it is not opportunistic, unfair or inappropriate, as some have said, for us to have a strong one now.” We remember such measures—the massively popular and economy-boosting Smoot-Hawley act, for example.