Morning Edition had an interview (sorry, not posted yet) with Republican Senator Ben Sasse talk about the need for honest leadership. He was critical of Donald Trump's claims that he would help manufacturing workers. While the criticism is justified, Sasse condemned the idea of turning to protectionism.
Of course, the United States would not have to turn to protectionism: it has been practicing selective protectionism for decades. We have maintained the barriers that largely protect our doctors, dentists, and other highly paid professionals from foreign competition. This allows doctors and dentists to earn twice as much as their counterparts in Canada and Western Europe.
We also have been pushing longer and stronger patent and copyright protection in both trade deals and domestic law. This is the reason that we pay $440 billion (2.3 percent of GDP) a year for prescription drugs rather than their free market price, which would likely be in the range of $40 billion to $80 billion.
The protection for highly paid professionals and patent and copyrights are a major part of the upward redistribution of the last four decades. Unfortunately, Senator Sasse was not prepared to talk about this protectionism honestly even if he could condemn Donald Trump's flirtation with protectionism for manufacturing workers as being dishonest.