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Protectionism is both political and economic. This is true from the relations seen between china and the united states from the past few years whereby the trump administration wanted to make china look small and suffer when in a real sense, both of the countries were losing a great deal of money in what Mark Zandi calls ‘game of economic chicken. Protectionism can be in varied ways; for example, in the United States, steel industries have been protected for a long time since as trump believes that there is no country without steel. The trade conflict between China and United States can also be referred to as protectionism, whereby the United States wants to remain at the top economically. At the same time, China has the same goal to surpass the United States in economic supremacy. This paper discusses the concept of protectionism and provides examples as it connects classroom knowledge to real-world happenings.

The United States has always wanted to remain at the top of economic superiority, and this has been threatened in the recent past by china. With its aim to be at the top, China began by enacting tariffs on goods from the United States. However, trump threw the same energy china had put into place back to them and had taxes for many Chinese imported goods go high (Layne, 2019). Even though these economic games may seem good in retaining supremacy, they will affect both countries massively negatively. For example, in the United States, 300,000 fewer jobs were created due to the tariffs put into place by president trump. This means that with the continued taxes, more and more jobs will be lost, and maybe U.S. citizens will stop importing goods from china.

As Zandi states, trump was wrong about the goods imported benefitting China more than the United States. It is a two-way business, and therefore when the tariffs are in place, united states citizens pay more for the goods. This makes the cheap Chinese goods unavailable, making the lives of those who depended on them miserable and as they have to look for alternatives that are most of the time expensive. A good example of a product whose market had been destroyed due to cheap imports from china is Hickory, a furniture-making company, as Bob and Jon state. For the furniture and other types of products, china made them so cheap, and the reason why trump was very much concerned is that he wanted to do away with china controlling United States markets. This was also one of the reasons why he was elected as there was a rising concern for the china products flooding the United States market. Therefore he was elected to protect the United States market from china.

Even though the battle of supremacy continues, china seems to be way ahead of United States, and this is already worrying many people. Most people speculate that China will leave behind the United States in economic supremacy (Hilsenrath, 2016). This is because China’s business model supports its citizens and helps the companies so much to be better and improve themselves while at the same time protecting them from external forces like excessive importation of products that can be made in china. Chinas manner of business is very good since what it does is make as many products as possible, which has had a positive impact on them so far (How China Won Trump’s Trade War and Got Americans to Foot the Bill, n.d.). China has become a very industrious country, and the United States might likely be left behind.

Even though when it comes to China and United States crisis, there is a lot of debate most of the products are protected under the introduction of the tariffs. There is also specific item protectionism like the steel industry. In the United States, the steel industry has been protected by the government through tax reduction or other means like subsidies due to its importance in the United States economy and politically (“Protection for the Steel Industry Is as Old as America,” n.d.). Most of the industries are located in politically important places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Therefore as politicians campaign most of the time, they tend to favor these areas by promising steel industry protection, and later when in office, they do that because they promised. Therefore that is what has always been happening, and most of the time, even though steel must not be protected, it finds itself being saved due to political reasons.


Hilsenrath, B. D. and J. (2016, August 11). How the China Shock, Deep and Swift, Spurred the Rise of Trump. Wall Street Journal. China Won Trump’s Trade War and Got Americans to Foot the Bill. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2021, from, R. (2019, September 12). Trump trade war with China has cost 300,000 U.S. jobs, Moody’s estimates. For The Steel Industry Is As Old As America. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2021, from