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On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

Posted April 24, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Peter Schechter – National Review)

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become clear that, while we may have historically been this trade system’s champion, we are no longer its linchpin.

America’s president has zigzagged mightily. He warns of steel and aluminum tariffs on allies, then he exempts key countries. He threatens a trade war with China, then he backtracks. He calls the WTO a “disaster,” then his top officials sing its praises. He withdraws from the TPP immediately after taking office, and now it seems he wants back in.

As America lurches — however inconsistently — toward protectionism, the rest of the world is responding with a simple proposition: more trade. We are not witnessing a collapse of the liberal economic order. We’re watching its expansion. Click here to read more.