Free trade generally is good (in my opinion), and so I am generally in favor of it. However, when things are done to make trade unfair, such a currency manipulation, actions should be taken to prevent the unfairness (e.g., placing tariffs on goods to cause their prices to be what they would be absent the manipulation). Time article on free trade Apr 2016 (PDF) President Trump’s tariff campaign is a net loser.
The attached Tax Foundation article says in its key findings: “We estimate that the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs, along with the retaliatory actions by our trading partners, will reduce economic output, income and employment.” A loss of 179,800 full-time jobs was estimated. taxfoundation.org Tariffs and Trade Tracking The Economic Impact of Trumps Trade War (PDF) A June 1, 2018, opinion article by George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury, and Pedro Aspe, states: “All else being equal, increasing a country’s budget deficit will result in a worsening of its trade balance, while promoting fiscal balance will improve it. … Our response to the trade deficit? Get the governments own deficit under control.” I liked the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The only downside I saw to TPP was a very small potential manufacturing jobs loss—mainly due to Vietnam being a member. I saw benefits for agriculture.