Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Affairs

Department Chair or Program Director

Kramer, Jack

First Advisor

Gupta, Surupa

Second Advisor

Cooperman, Rosalyn

Major or Concentration

Political Science


This paper explores the 2016 Trump campaign's position on trade. It starts from the perspective of a Republican Party that has traditionally focused on promoting free trade and an executive branch that had been seemingly designed structurally to promote free trade. The Trump campaign was a drastic change in both standards as it successfully advocated more protectionist positions. The paper looked at all of Trump's 2016 campaign documents and compiled ones focusing on trade. Through a qualitative analysis, this is contrasted against previous Republican presidential campaigns. Ultimately, the Trump administration had pursued a novel strategy of using a protectionist platform to win over specific regions of the electoral college.