Trade and Energy Matters
So far, the review of the Carter, administration's macroeconomic policies has concentrated on the domestic economy. In any evaluation of the Carter years, the domestic repercussions take priority, especially when political consequences are factored into the analysis. While the general public may weigh domestic outcomes heavily, often international considerations may be more important in the end.
It is appropriate to examine the Carter record of international trade and relations. Foreign relations are beyond the focus of this book and references to them are only mentioned in passing. Economic elements, however, are nearly always present in international relations and cannot be ignored.
The subject of international trade and relations are rich and complex topics, so this discussion will be limited to summaries and overviews, leaving the details to other works. This chapter presents the data on trade during the Carter years and discusses the immediate results. Once the data have been reviewed, we will examine the effects of domestic macroeconomic policies on international matters.
It may seem odd to include trade and energy matters in one chapter. These two subjects, however, were so entwined in this period that their combination is justifiable. So as the discussion of trade issues proceeds, energy problems emerge as a major factor in trade developments; since energy problems cannot be ignored in the examination of inflation, they cannot be ignored in the analysis of trade balances. In addition to affecting trade balances, energy problems also played havoc with the domestic economy. So in conjunction with the problems raised in the international sphere, we will discuss what the administration did about the energy crisis in order to solve the problems in both the domestic and international economies.