Topic Category: Trade & Finance

In his recent State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Trump touted the strong US economy and low unemployment rate, claiming credit for a “great American comeback” driven in significant part by his trade policies. The president was right about the general health of the US economy, but not about the role of his trade policies.

Topic: Trade & Finance



A novel feature of the Trump administration’s “Phase 1” trade deal with China announced December 13, is that it would require China to increase its purchase of US goods and services by a total of $200 billion in the next two years. It’s a demand that, even if met, won’t accomplish President Donald Trump’s China-trade goals of promoting US exports and liberalizing the Chinese economy.

Topic: Trade & Finance



President Trump has called out China for unfairly subsidizing its state-owned enterprises, not enforcing intellectual property protections, placing trade restrictions on U.S. firms, and pressuring them to hand over technology in exchange for market access. If these problems are eliminated, more U.S. companies will invest there. But is this what President Trump wants?

Topic: Trade & Finance
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On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to strengthen enforcement of existing trade rules and negotiate better trade deals than his predecessors had. With his national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, his safeguard tariffs on washing machines and solar components, his broad trade war with China, and the looming specter of new barriers for automobile imports, President Trump has delivered—for better or worse—on the first promise. On the second, he has little to show.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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In President Trump’s reckoning, international trade is a zero-sum game with distinct winners and losers. Exports are Team America’s points. Imports are the foreign team’s points. The trade account is the scoreboard, and the deficit on that scoreboard proves that the home team is losing at trade. Accordingly, the president considers blocking imports and promoting exports to be integral to effective trade policymaking.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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With six months and counting before the UK-EU divorce becomes official, Britons understandably are frustrated by the absence of post-Brexit clarity. Genuine concern, lingering misgivings about the referendum, and a series of government missteps have invited justified criticism, but also heaps of hyperbole and fear-mongering from politicians and opinion leaders across the ideological spectrum.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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On June 26, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with President Trump at the White House to talk about trade. Afterwards, to the surprise of many (including me), they held a press conference at which they said positive things about the U.S.-EU trade relationship. Then later, President Trump had five positive tweets about the meeting. It was more amicable than anything we’ve seen in U.S. trade policy for many months.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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During the first week of June 2018, I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Fernando Henrique Cardoso Foundation in São Paulo, Brazil. During the trip, a Brazilian reporter asked me about former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assertion, made during his February 2018 address at the University of Texas at Austin, that the United States is a better partner for Latin America over the long-term than the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Topic: Trade & Finance
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President Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum was met with Chinese tariffs on U.S. products and agricultural goods. In turn, this has escalated with each country identifying additional barriers to trade. To prevent a damaging trade war, and for our mutual long-term benefit, the United States and China need to negotiate a free trade agreement.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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2017 was a lost year for U.S. trade policy. We took several steps backwards and none forward. The losses started in January with the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with 11 other nations that had been negotiated by the Obama administration, but not yet signed into law by Congress. Rather than suggest any improvements, the Trump administration abandoned the agreement entirely.

Topic: Trade & Finance
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