Trade Deficit: America Defenseless or America Dominant? Trade Deficits Don't Put America at Risk

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 11, 2003 | Go to article overview

Trade Deficit: America Defenseless or America Dominant? Trade Deficits Don't Put America at Risk


Byline: Sara J. Fitzgerald, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

We're used to hearing that trade deficits are bad, but the alarm raised by some deficit-phobes doesn't stop there. According to these critics, a trade deficit also threatens national security. They contend that our military depends too much on imported goods, so a trade deficit makes America vulnerable.

As William R. Hawkins, a senior fellow for national security studies at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, wrote in a recent op-ed: "If America is to maintain the robust industrial base and sound finances necessary for world leadership in turbulent times, it must reconcile its defense and economic policies to expand domestic manufacturing and high-tech investment while ending the debilitating trade deficits."

This isn't true. America, like any other trading nation, exports so that it can import. In other words, we're not trading out of desperation; we're trading by choice. And as President Bush notes in the national security strategy he released last fall, trade is a key building block of homeland security.

Take the fact that the United States imports semiconductors from Japan. Skeptics claim this poses a national-security risk. What would happen, they ask, if Japan stopped exporting such products? But think about it: Why would Japan choose to cut itself off from one of the largest semiconductor markets in the world? If it did, where would it sell the semiconductors it makes? The government couldn't let them pile up on the docks; Japanese manufacturers would risk bankruptcy. More likely, Japan would sell them to another country in which case the United States could purchase the semiconductors from them.

Japan isn't the only country that supplies us with products for our military. We also import many raw specialty metals from Africa. These are often materials that don't exist here and can be obtained only through trade. In this way, running a trade deficit actually makes us safer by giving us a way to get these necessary raw materials into the United States.

As my Heritage Foundation colleague Daniel Mitchell pointed out in an op-ed for The Washington Times, a trade deficit isn't necessarily bad in fact, it's a sign that our economy is strong. We wouldn't have a trade deficit if we weren't attracting foreign capital. Investors from other countries want to spend their money here because they have faith in our economy.

And while we have a deficit in some areas, agriculture is one of the industries that the United States has a trade surplus in; we are the world's largest agricultural exporter. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Trade Deficit: America Defenseless or America Dominant? Trade Deficits Don't Put America at Risk
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.