protectionism

A Turning Point for US Trade Policy

A Turning Point for US Trade Policy

American trade policy has been like the proverbial frog in a pot, slowly simmering under increasing heat.  At a certain point, the frog will not be able to survive, even if it were suddenly rescued.  The US, it appears, has reached this juncture. Were any country other than the United States to have taken this set of steps in a week, Washington would have been aghast.  Instead, it was largely shrugged off as “just another week in DC.”  The fact that the United States could take such actions as escalating tariffs to 25% on potentially $500 billion in goods from China, possibly seal the fate of one of the most important telecommunications firms globally, make national security arguments about the threat level emanating from cars arriving from US allies, and continue to watch the multilateral trade system crumble and then argue that it is “just another week” is especially telling.