Global Trade and Global "Government"
Do nations compete with one another in the world marketplace? Actually, distinguished economists disagree. 1 Whether they do or not, national economies are seriously affected by world trade. When those effects are not what the general public expects, government and businesses are expected to "do something." (What they ought to do is less clear.)
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of books about Japan's recipe for success in the global marketplace appeared. They were followed by books about improving business strategies. Among these was one that anticipated, about improving business strategies. Among these was one that anticipated, if it did not influence, the American response to global competition: MADE IN AMERICA: REGAINING THE PRODUCTIVE EDGE. 2 Whatever prompted the change, American businesses, workers and government behaved as if an external enemy threatened our standard of living. Our competitiveness began to improve. 3 But our enhanced success in world trade is not enough. We need allies.
As said previously, the EU is our most obvious partner. But these two giants don't necessarily agree about how to achieve a better world trade environment. 4 Put aside the fact that the two signed a "Declaration on U.S.-EC Relations" in November 1993 and more-ambitious and detailed agreements in 1995 and 1998. All are couched in constitutional language. Since the U.S. departed in a number of ways from the former, there is scant reason to expect the later agendas will be more binding. However, the U.S. and the EU have a great deal in common and can be expected to collaborate, at least when it is to their mutual advantage. One recent example of this is an agreement to cooperate more closely on customs procedures. If they