Both Britain and America have championed free trade from a position of global strength. But their views in the past were very different
For steel and aluminium read wool. For trade rivalry between the US and China read the struggle between England and the Low Countries. For Donald Trump read Edward III. There is nothing new about the use of protectionism as a policy tool.
England in the 14th century was in a similar position to a poor developing country today. It produced a lot of a staple commodity – wool – which it exported across the Channel to be turned into cloth by Flemish weavers.
Source: FS – All – Economy – News 2
From Edward III to Alexander Hamilton: history’s biggest protectionists | Larry Elliott