Brit Hume: Trump tariff policies 'a dramatic departure' from conservative American thought

President Trump's use of tariffs as a negotiating tool is in stark contrast to how Republicans have traditionally operated, according to Brit Hume.

The move would be a "dramatic departure" from conservative orthodoxy if Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs on countries like China and Mexico, Hume said Tuesday on "The Story."

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"He really has made a kind of dramatic departure from what had been contemporary American conservative thought about trade," Hume claimed. "Tariffs were considered anathema and people look back to the tariffs that were imposed during the Great Depression and the damage they did and said, 'this is folly'."

Last week, Trump threatened to institute a 5 percent tariff on Mexico until the illegal immigration surge at the southern border is "remedied."

Hume said he believed Trump's use of tariffs as a warning to Mexico on that particular policy front is not something Capitol Hill is used to.

"[Trump] calls himself 'tariff man' and he is wielding tariffs now as his tool of choice and all kinds of ways. He is trying to help solve the immigration crisis at the border with tariffs threatened against Mexico," he said.

"He is obviously using them to accomplish trade concessions from China."

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Hume said such plans have the potential to work, but could be politically disastrous if they don't.

"If he gets trade deals out of this and concessions from Mexico, that will be a huge victory. But it is risky because a big trade war that doesn't result in a deal sometime soon could be the thing that derails the recovery we have had going on for ten years," he claimed.

"A trade war that stunts trade could cause that."

Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.