“With his threats to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, rip up trade deals and force companies such as Apple to bring manufacturing home to the US, Donald Trump has offered a protectionist vision of the future that makes traditional economists quake in their boots,” Shawn Donnan reports for The Financial Times. “But with proposals designed to cater to the fears of angry blue-collar workers in the rust belt states through which his presidential campaign has been moving, the Republican frontrunner has also set off the biggest trade war inside the party since the 1970s. Whether or not Mr Trump is elected, analysts say it is an internecine war that is already having repercussions beyond the party.”

“In an op-ed published in USA Today on Tuesday the property tycoon railed against a vast new Pacific Rim trade pact covering 40 per cent of the global economy that the Obama administration agreed with Japan and 10 other economies last year,” Donnan reports. “‘TPP is the biggest betrayal in a long line of betrayals where politicians have sold out US workers,’ Mr Trump wrote.”

“It is hard to overstate what a shock to the Republican system Mr Trump’s trade pronouncements — and the support they are finding among voters — have been,” Donnan reports. “Since Ronald Reagan the Republican party has, with a few exceptions, been unabashedly pro-trade even as the Democratic party and its labour union base have grown more sceptical. (Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have said they oppose the TPP in its current form). Mr Obama last year relied on Republicans in Congress to marshal votes and secure the “fast-track” authority he needed to conclude the TPP negotiations and others. He needs a repeat of that support to have any hope of seeing the TPP ratified by Congress before he leaves office next January.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We live in interesting times.

Those jobs aren’t coming back. – Steve Jobs, February 2011, when asked by U.S. President Barack Obama why iPhones aren’t made in America

We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries. We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.Anonymous Apple executive, January 2012

The entire supply chain is in China now. You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.Anonymous former Apple executive, January 2012

Why Donald Trump is now targeting Apple and their ‘damn computers’ – January 19, 2016
Trump could cost U.S. consumers $6 billion per year by imposing a 35% tariff on Apple iPhone – January 19, 2016
Trump: We’ll get Apple to manufacture ‘their damn computers and things’ in the U.S.A. – January 18, 2016
Robots, not people, led Apple to make new Mac Pro in the U.S.A. – January 21, 2014
Former Reagan staffer: Apple has an obligation to help solve America’s problems – April 3, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]