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Trump is a political opportunist who used to support Democrats (among other things he made six digit donations to Clintons' foundation). So it seems more likely that Trump simply tells his potential voters what they want to hear. Protectionism is always popular among blue collar workers who are Trumpís main base. That said, I have no way of directly reading Trumpís mind and I canít exclude the possibility that he actually means it.

Trumps main goal is obviously at the moment getting elected. He's going to say whatever he thinks will raise his chances of getting elected.
At the same time making statements like this invites political enemies to work against him getting elected. It makes businesses spend money into preventing him from becoming president.

Given the way things work Trump invites to discuss the issue at the debates.
He also can't really walk back from it before the election.
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