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On Trade, America Can’t Be First If It Doesn’t Compete

Posted February 02, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Trevor Kincaid via Reuters)

Around the world countries are working overtime to get an economic edge by striking new trade deals. The United States, meanwhile, sits on the sidelines. President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach and laser-focus on China may have played well on the stump, but it will leave the American workers who ushered him into office at a disadvantage.

The Trump administration is right to keep an eye on China. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump again promised “strong enforcement of our trade rules.” But while trade enforcement is important, it’s only one aspect of a robust American trade policy. What the president needs to do now is focus on a new kind of global competition that is undercutting opportunities for America.

Barely over a year ago, the United States was rewriting the rules for the global trading system and pressuring China to play fair or risk being left out. President Barack Obama’s final trade policy agenda outlined the administration’s strategy, which has since become the blueprint for other nations including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union: “If America leads on trade, we can become the world’s production platform of choice: the premier location for investing, doing business and making things to serve both the U.S. market and the rest of the world.” Click here to read more.