At the Recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, Presidents Donald Trump and XI Jinping Offered Competing and Disturbing Visions of a New International Economic Order [Derived Headline]

By Morici, Peter | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 27, 2017 | Go to article overview

At the Recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, Presidents Donald Trump and XI Jinping Offered Competing and Disturbing Visions of a New International Economic Order [Derived Headline]


Morici, Peter, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


At the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping offered competing and disturbing visions of a new international economic order.

Trump abandoned America’s leadership for a multilateral trading system based on rules and shared responsibilities.

Xi cynically offered China to fill the void, but Pacific leaders see that for what it is. Twelve nations are negotiating the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership, without America, to counter China’s economic imperialism.

Modern economics demonstrates that nations can increase their wealth by opening up to trade and specializing in exports that use resources in greatest abundance within their borders. All of this assumes trade is reasonably balanced and works best when barriers are lowered among many trading partners.

After World War II, the United States and its allies founded the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which became the World Trade Organization, to promote economic interdependence, discourage conflict among historical adversaries and contain Russian- and Chinese-led communism.

America led efforts to first cut tariffs and later limit industrial policies. All governments bend these rules, but China violates them most egregiously.

Western nations granted less-developed and emerging countries latitude to keep much higher tariffs to jump-start industrialization. For many nations, such as China, Brazil and Mexico, those tariff preferences long ago outlived their justification.

The United States has amassed large trade deficits to help glue the system together. This has exacerbated the difficulties of moving workers in smaller communities from traditional manufacturing and agriculture into more technologically intensive pursuits or decently-paying service jobs. …

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