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Tariffs will create winners and losers in global trade. America won’t always be in the first group, a Broad College expert warns

By Omar Sofradzija

Tariffs may turn global trade partnerships from win-win propositions to win-lose. And America won’t always be the winner, Eli Broad College of Business professor Tomas Hult wrote recently in one of the country’s leading political publications.

A large pile of cargo containers, many labeled Maersk SealandHult, who is an international trade expert appearing as an opinion contributor for the Hill, a Washington, D.C. based political newspaper and Web site, wrote “the world has created global efficiencies over decades that are now being politically challenged from its half-century of global win-win evolution to a more nationalistic country-win scenario, wherein some countries win and some countries likely lose.”

“Why don’t we just trade as a country and not engage so deeply in these trade agreements? The reason is that any given country – even the United States – cannot be a world leader in every category of raw materials, component parts, or finished goods,” Hult wrote in the Hill.

Tomas Hult
Tomas Hult

Hult is the Byington Endowed Chair of the Department of Marketing, a professor of marketing and international business, director of the International Business Center at the Broad College, and executive director of the Academy of International Business at MSU.

It is the second opinion piece Hult has penned for the Hill in recent weeks. In July, Hult wrote that “the agricultural industry is just the latest, newsworthy victim” of escalating tariffs, some of which are targeting economic sectors that have nothing to do with original tariff targets. That is something called the “bullwhip” effect of tariffs.

Hult is a frequently-cited scholar of international business, and opinion pieces he has authored have previously been published and shared by Time magazine, Fortune magazine, and the World Economic Forum, among others. You can read his full latest opinion piece in the Hill here, and the recent prior piece on how tariffs are impacting American farmers here.


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